By Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield
IT is now three years since the Brexit referendum. People write to me demanding a no deal Brexit, and they write to me asking for a second referendum and/or demanding we scrap Brexit altogether.
I have always believed the way to bring the country together was to negotiate an exit deal which satisfied the result of the referendum (by leaving) while reassuring those who would have rather remained that the UK would still have a strong economy, good public services and strong relationships with the rest of the world.
I cannot see as a country how we will progress if political parties only appeal to one side of the Brexit argument.
Leaving without any deal could be a mistake of historic proportions for this country. These are my concerns:
1) We would lose tariff free access for our exports, not just to the EU but to countries like South Korea and Canada.
2) If we unilaterally imposed no tariffs on goods coming into the UK we would have nothing to negotiate on in future trade talks. If we did impose tariffs, everything affected would cost consumers more.
3) Without a deal we lose market access to the EU for services almost entirely. 80 per cent of the British economy is services as opposed to 20 per cent goods. The long-term threat to our tax base is estimated at between £8-10 billion a year.
4) The value of the pound will almost certainly decline further, making everything we import more expensive.
5) No deal is not a clean break or a quick way out. Negotiations on a whole range of issues would still need to occur. Surely it’s sensible to resolve these from a position of relative strength before we leave than after taking the big hit of leaving with no deal?
6) Any financial settlement with the EU for liabilities we have accrued as a member will still be due.
7) The alleged potential benefits of leaving on WATO terms, often claimed to be lower prices, look illusory to me. Developing countries already have tariff free access to the EU single market. Any price drops could cause the demise of UK industries.
In the 2016 referendum the Vote Leave campaign promised a deal would be agreed. Nobody voted for no deal.
So, if the new PM does go for no deal, this should require some sort of mandate from the British people. My preference would be for a General Election. A handful of Conservative Party members should not get to decide the future for the rest of us.