Why cliff is lurking in the shadows
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?