Smith – PM’s trade admission highlights need for a transitional UK-EU deal

The UK will not be able to sign a free trade deal with the EU until after we have left, the Prime Minister confirmed today.

She told Sky News that while she hoped the framework of an agreement on the future UK-EU relationship would be in place by the time the UK leaves, any trade deal would need to be negotiated afterwards as a ‘third country’.

Commenting, Owen Smith MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“Bit by bit, the main planks of the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy are falling away. Today, she has admitted that we will not have the time to agree a trade deal with the EU before the Article 50 period is finished.

“The Government have promised to deliver a trade deal that gives us the ‘exact same benefits’ as we have now as a member of the Single Market. If we leave the EU before a trade deal is signed, this promise will be broken, as our economy will go off a cliff-edge, hitting our businesses with punishing tariffs and putting jobs at risk.

“Ministers have to prevent this hardest of hard Brexits by at least agreeing a transition deal with the EU that would keep us in the Single Market before a new trade deal can be signed.”

/ends

Notes to editors:

The story is reported here: http://news.sky.com/story/no-signed-future-brexit-deal-within-two-years-says-theresa-may-10824347