Democratic accountability

Open Britain will campaign for the Government to provide the country with more than just a ‘bad deal or no deal’ offer to Parliament.

The Government’s plan is to bring back a draft deal with the EU and allow Parliament to vote on it at the same time as the deal is presented to the European Parliament, likely in late 2018. This was presented as a concession to pro-European campaigners and MPs.

The fundamental problem with the plan, however, is that if Parliament rejects the deal there is no scope to continue negotiations, so the UK would fall off a cliff on to WTO rules with no preferential arrangement in place at all. This would be the worst possible arrangement for the UK economy, subjecting us to eye-watering tariffs and we would be completely outside the EU’s regulatory framework.

The Government is therefore offering Parliament a bad-deal-or-no-deal ultimatum. It was not a concession: it was a con. Open Britain does not believe the Government has a mandate for a hard Brexit and should not be given a blank cheque to pursue one.

Open Britain is campaigning for the following principles to be adhered to:

-        Give Parliament the power to send the Government back to the negotiating table if they do not think the final deal with the EU is good enough. 

-        Ensure that the UK should only leave the EU with no deal if Parliament has expressly voted for that to happen, not just as a consequence of the Government’s failure to negotiate a good deal. 

Accepting the result is not the same as accepting any deal that is brought back, no matter how damaging.

We want the Government to succeed in its aim to secure the ‘exact same benefits’ outside the Single Market and Customs Union as inside, but if they do not and the result brings economic pain, the country should be entitled, in some form, to make a real judgement about the deal on offer.