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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Trying to have their cake and eat it

There is an astonishing case of the UK Government wanting to have their cake and eat it in yesterday's Financial Times, who report that David Davis has consulted lawyers over the EU’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit, claiming Brussels’ planning is harming British business and breaching the UK’s rights as a member state.

The paper says that in a letter to the Prime Minister, the Brexit secretary pointed to EU “measures” that could jeopardise existing contracts or force British companies to decamp to the continent if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Mr Davis said in the letter that he would ask the European Commission to revise its guidance to business so it highlights the potential for a future transition and trade deal.

It is difficult to know where to start with this letter. If the UK is planning to walk away from EU membership without meeting its legal obligations then why should the Commission and member states play ball in giving us what we want with regards to future trade deals. They are entitled to protect their own position.

The EU is not being unreasonable, they are merely outlining the reality for British business if our government abandons their interests and unilaterally walk away from talks. These are truths that UK ministers have refused to acknowledge.

As Michel Barnier said in November. “I don’t know if the whole truth has been explained to British businesses on the concrete consequences of Brexit.” He cannot be blamed for doing that job on behalf of the UK Government.

David Davis is acting like the playground bully, who suddenly finds himself cornered when his victims gang up against him. He must either negotiate in good faith or walk away and accept the consequences. The UK is being very badly served having a man like this represent our interests in such crucial talks.
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