UK must deliver ultimatum on leaving the EU
An Open Letter to the Right Hon. David Davis MP.
I write to you in your capacity as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and as a former Parliamentary colleague.
I can well understand that in seeking to extract the UK from the EU you are obliged to follow the procedure laid down in Article 50 and that you are also constrained by what your Cabinet colleagues will actually tolerate.
That being said, there is no point in pretending that you can deliver results which common-sense alone tells us are simply unattainable.
Even if the EU negotiators were willing to give the UK the sort of deal we want, they cannot do so, firstly because the EU does not allow exceptions to the rule and secondly because of the real fear that, in the event of a more advantageous deal being struck with Britain, other EU member States will demand the same terms and that the whole EU project might then unravel.
Of greater concern is the effect that the protracted negotiations are having upon us all here at home. Trade, industry and commerce are hamstrung by the continuing uncertainty and the general public are becoming increasingly impatient that the clear-cut verdict of the referendum is not being delivered.
In order to obviate the risk of finding ourselves no further forward this time next year surely the time has come for the UK to issue an ultimatum.
Let us tell M. Barnier et al specifically what it is that we are wanting in return for the compromises and concessions already made and leave them in no doubt that we will walk away if they do not agree.
At a stroke the ongoing uncertainty and the unaffordable loss of worldwide opportunities, not to mention our hefty EU contributions, would be ended and the intervening period prior to March 29, 2019 would effectively become the ‘transition period’.
In all probability you will dismiss this suggestion as being too simplistic but the fact of the matter is that it is only the politicians and the bureaucrats who are making the implementation of the clearly expressed will of the people so needlessly complicated!