Government Reveals Plans to Walk Away from EU with ‘No Deal’

Theresa May's speech Friday in Florence was generally well received as she promised to meet EU budgetary commitments to 2020 -- but now the EU will be seeking clarification going into a fourth round of Brexit talks © POOL/AFP/File Jeff J Mitchell
AFP/Jeff J Mitchell

The prime minister has revealed to the European Union (EU) how she is preparing to walk away from the bloc without a trade deal, as Eurocrats continue to block Brexit talks from progressing.

Theresa May hopes to “focus minds” by publishing draft legislation on how the UK will implement independent trade and customs arrangements from “day one” of Brexit in March 2019, The Telegraph reports.

She sent a clear message to Brussels when she told MPs: “We are planning for every eventuality and you are now seeing the proof of it,” in a speech in parliament.

The EU has continually said “sufficient progress” must be made on payments and Northern Ireland before trade talks can begin, without defining what “sufficient” is, and even after the UK offered to pay a huge ‘divorce bill’.

Last month, there were claims International Trade Secretary Liam Fox had instructed his department to prepare for a ‘No Deal’, but this is the first time the government has publically acknowledged the fact – an indication of how poorly talks are going.

In August, at the conclusion of the first stage of talks, Brexit Secretary David Davis accused the EU of not being “flexible” or “pragmatic”, but EU negotiators insisted they would not move “one iota” from their Brexit mandate.

The admission of ‘No Deal’ preparations also comes as Mr. Davis and Mrs. May prepare to travel to Brussels in the next few days.

White papers published on Monday on customs and trade made it clear that Britain would trade under World Trade Organization rules if it left without a deal, and would set its own tariffs and taxes on goods, as well as moving borders inland to avoid queues at ports.

It has also emerged that the preparations by Mr. Fox’s Department for International Trade include setting up a planning unit dubbed “Project After” which is putting forward radical options including dropping all trade tariffs and joining a trade pact focussed on Asia.

On Monday, Eurosceptic MPs slammed the PM for making more concessions to the EU, including admitting that EU courts could continue to wield power in the UK after 2019.


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