Brexit: If we can’t agree a deal, we must walk away
CONFERENCE season is now over – for Labour a triumph, for the Tories a disaster, and very little was heard from the remaining parties.
So it is back to work for MPs. Meanwhile, Theresa May has said it is now time for a period of calm, firm leadership.
She is quite right to indicate to Brussels that we are no longer going to dance to the Bernier tune, and negotiations must immediately start on trade relations with Europe for the future.
The demand by these gentlemen that we must give greater clarity on the British position must be resisted.
This is an attempt by Europe’s unelected negotiators to wring more money out of Britain as part of the divorce settlement. After all, if we walk, and WTO rules have to apply, Europe exporters will also suffer.
British business needs to plan for all eventualities as a result of the Brexit negotiations.
The news that there is going to be a two-year transitional period disappointed many. It must also be recognised that there may not be a deal, and that alternative terms of trading will have to be adopted.
Certainly intransigence by Europe should not be the subject of appeasement by Britain.
So in the months ahead Mrs May must show a steady nerve, not flinching from taking decisions that will affect trade in the short to medium term.
At the end of the day, European manufacturers will find it damaging to lose their British customers, and this could happen unless some realism is shown by Brussels.
There is now a strong possibility that a deal with Brussels is not going to be possible, as demonstrated by the current attitude of their negotiators.
We should therefore walk away, making no financial payment to settle the divorce. In any case the sums demanded are totally unjustified.
Our Prime Minister will soldier on, which if successful, could result in substantial political rewards in the years to come.
Russell Luckock is chairman of Birmingham pressings firm