John Baron MP highlights risks of Brexit transitional phase

July 24, 2017

MP says there should be no loitering in the departure lounge

Responding to reports that the Cabinet is united in the need for a transitional period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, John Baron MP said,

“The British people clearly voted to leave the EU in last year’s referendum, and it is imperative that both the Government and Parliament work to implement that democratic decision and engineer a clean and decisive break from the EU. Accordingly, there should be no loitering in the departure lounge.”

“A transitional phase increases the risk the referendum result will not be properly honoured. It may encourage both the Government and our negotiators to rest on their laurels, safe in the knowledge that the March 2019 Article 50 deadline has less immediacy. It also plays into the hands of those who wish to frustrate or prevent Brexit, particularly as one concession leads easily to another.”

“Moreover, delaying a clean Brexit leaves us more at the mercy of events. No-one can predict how the political or economic environment might change over the next few years, and a change of government or a global economic downturn could lead to further calls to halt or abandon the Brexit process.”

“Big business has pushed for a transitional period despite them knowing about Brexit for over a year, and still having until March 2019 to adjust. They are well aware of how leaving the EU will affect their business models – not least because they supported “Project Fear’s” paper tigers. As for their concerns about recruiting a skilled workforce, the Government has time to introduce a controlled and fair immigration system open to the world.”

“In any case, in the unlikely event no Brexit deal is signed, falling back on World Trade Organisation rules and tariffs should hold no fear. Average WTO tariffs are around 3–5%, and many countries use these to trade profitably and extensively with the EU. There is no reason why Britain should be an exception. Furthermore, leaving the Customs Union will allow us to pursue free trade deals with the faster-growing economies outside the EU, including the United States.”

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