15 January 2017

A backward step

I find it hard to believe that a responsible government would envisage the re-imposition of customs duties and other barriers to trade with our main economic partners, with untold adverse consequences for the UK economy.  And for the fiction of limiting immigration.  But it appears that will happen.  The Guardian reports:
Theresa May is to announce that the government is prepared to accept a clean break with the EU in its negotiations for the UK’s departure. In a speech to be delivered on Tuesday, the prime minister will make clear that she is willing to sacrifice the UK’s membership of the single market and customs union in order to bring an end to freedom of movement.
An article in the Sunday Telegraph cites “sources familiar with the prime minister’s thinking” as saying that May is seeking to appease the Eurosceptic wing of her party by contemplating a “hard”, or “clean”, Brexit.
In the speech to an audience of diplomats at London’s Lancaster House May will hope to end months of speculation about her intentions by setting out her aims for Brexit. According to the Sunday Telegraph, she will say that the UK must:
  • be prepared to leave the EU customs union;
  • regain full control of its borders, even if that means losing access to the single market, and 
  • cease to be subject to rulings by the European court of justice. 
Expect the pound to sink like a stone on the foreign exchanges tomorrow morning.


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