Bradshaw – Sir Martin Donnelly’s comments show Ministers must drop the rhetoric and keep Britain in the Single Market

Trade deals with countries around the world are unlikely to make up for the loss of trade with the EU Britain would suffer if we leave the Single Market, the former chief official of Liam Fox’s department has said.

Speaking on the Today Programme this morning, Sir Martin Donnelly, who was Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade, said the Single Market has “served Britain well”, is good for jobs, businesses and investment, and that the UK cannot “have our cake and eat it.”

And he said a Brexit with no deal at all would have a “chilling impact on investment.”

Ben Bradshaw MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“This is a damning indictment of Government ministers who believe Britain’s economy can be rescued from the Brexit morass by striking trade deals with countries around the world. The man who was the Government’s most senior official working on trade is quite clear – you cannot replace the amount of trade we do with Europe through deals with other countries, and a Brexit with no deal at all would have a ‘chilling’ impact on jobs and investment.

“Ministers need to engage with reality, dump the rhetoric, and listen to voices like Martin Donnelly. Negotiating trade deals will take years, will involve trade-offs that could weaken our food safety and environmental standards, and will not be enough to replace the trade we will lose with Europe by leaving the Single Market. 

“They need to stop basing their trade policy on Liam Fox’s delusions, and protect jobs by keeping Britain in the Single Market and Customs Union.”

/ends 

Notes to editors:

The interview can be heard here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b098bn97