Why cliff is lurk­ing in the shad­ows

Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

OUR Brexit tran­si­tion could be scup­pered by any one of the re­main­ing 27 EU­coun­tries.

The night­mare arose be­cause no one agrees just who needs to agree whether Bri­tain should have two years to shuf­fle out.

Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis thinks Ar­ti­cle 50 al­lows us to grad­u­ally ad­just to life out­side the EU after we leave on March 29, 2019.

But Brexit Select Com­mit­tee Tory MP Craig Mackin­lay told us: “No one has ever used Ar­ti­cle 50, so no one knows how tran­si­tion works. The whole EU may have to be in agree­ment if we are to get it.” That means one up­pity coun­try could put the ki­bosh on Theresa May’s plans and the UK will fall off a cliff edge.

CBI boss Carolyn Fair­bairn says that we must stay in the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union tem­po­rar­ily if British business is not to face dis­as­ter.

She added: “That’s ba­si­cally what the PM’s agreed to. We will hold her to it.”

It also emerged that the UK has only one per­son with ex­pe­ri­ence of ne­go­ti­at­ing free trade deals cru­cial to Brexit suc­cess. In­ter­na­tional Trade Sec­re­tary Liam Fox was asked by cam­paign group Open Bri­tain how many of­fi­cials in his de­part­ment had done any­thing like this be­fore.

One name emerged – Craw­ford Fal­coner, his Chief Trade Ne­go­ti­a­tion Ad­viser and Sec­ond Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary. Mr Davis wants Dr Fox to ne­go­ti­ate a free trade area 10 times the size of the EU by next Septem­ber.

Labour’s Pat Mc­Fad­den said: “He and his lone trade ne­go­tia­tor will be busy.”

ON THE EDGE But does Davis know it?

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