Brexit: If we can’t agree a deal, we must walk away

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

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

AE Har­ris

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.