Commenting on Theresa May’s speech on Brexit in Teesside earlier this afternoon, Chuka Umunna, leading supporter of Open Britain and Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:
“Theresa May’s ‘12-point plan’ for Brexit makes her social care plans look detailed and thought-through.
“Her combination of vagueness, secrecy and threats about leaving with no deal will lead to a Brexit that makes working people worse off, not better.
“At this election, we cannot give the Prime Minister a blank cheque for a hard, chaotic Brexit.”
Notes to editors:
Below are 12 questions the Government needs to answer on their approach to Brexit:
- Academics at the LSE yesterday showed that walking away from Brexit talks with no deal is the worst option, so in what circumstance would the Government contemplate this extreme act of economic self-harm?
- With whom will the Government be negotiating free trade deals outside the EU, and when will the UK economy start to benefit from these new deals? Narendra Modi was in Berlin this week, pushing ahead for an Indian trade deal with the EU, Chinese leaders are in Brussels today for a 2 day EU-China summit and the US Secretary of Commerce is pushing for the TTIP negotiations to resume. Where is the UK in all of this?
- How can the Government justify promoting global trade while abandoning the Customs Union and Single Market, where EU trade is responsible for almost 50% of UK exports and over 50% of UK imports?
- Will co-operation on crime and security mean staying in Europol and the European Arrest Warrant, both of which mean adhering to European Court of Justice rulings? If not, what replacement arrangements will be put in place?
- By when will the Government meet its target of bringing net migration down to “tens of thousands” and in which sectors will reductions of migrant workers be made?
- How will the Government guarantee a soft border with Ireland if it opting out of the customs union and free movement, leading to a return of customs checks and border controls?
- If the Government is so keen to keep workers’ rights, can it outline precisely which EU directives and regulations it would so like to convert into UK law?
- The Government talks about “a phased process of implementation”. Will the Government admit that it will be necessary to have a period of transition, which will mean its red lines on ECJ and free movement will not be met when we leave the EU in 2019?
- If the Government’s chosen plan for Brexit is not a success, as the Prime Minister has claimed it might not be, would she consider pursuing a different path, for example remaining within the Single Market and the Customs Union?
- Pursuing free trade agreements will come with visa relaxation, as has been called for by both the Australian and Indian High Commissioners. What will the Government prioritise, bringing down immigration or signing new free trade agreements?
- Will the Prime Minister confirm that she will have to agree to make a financial settlement with the EU, which will be a net loss for the UK, if it is to move on from withdrawal talks to trade talks?
- Does the Government stand by David Davis’ commitment that the UK’s Brexit deal will deliver the “exact same benefits” as we have now in the Single Market?