Cable, Umunna and Lucas - Theresa May Must "Come Clean" About Her Six Promises

A cross-party group of MPs today urge the Prime Minister to either explain how she will meet the six promises she and her ministers have made about future UK-EU trade, or admit that they cannot all be delivered.

In an open letter coordinated by Open Britain, Vince Cable MP, Chuka Umunna MP and Caroline Lucas MP highlight the following promises, quoting key commitments made by Theresa May and her ministers since the referendum:


  1. The “exact same benefits” as today
  2. No hard border on the island of Ireland or across the UK
  3. Fully negotiated by March 2019
  4. No payment for access to the EU market
  5. A complete end to EU rules and regulations
  6. Continuation of all EU trade deals and new deals ready to come into force 


The open letter cites key claims in support of each promise, such as David Davis' commitment that the deal “will deliver the exact same benefits as we have”; Theresa May’s promise in December that the future relationship would be negotiated in “as little as 18 months”; Downing Street’s pledge that “we will not be paying for market access”; and Theresa May’s claim that “free movement will end in March 2019.”

The MPs say that these are the promises against which the Prime Minister’s speech today must be judged, and warn that if she backs away from them “everybody has the right to ask whether the reality of Brexit matches up to what has been promised.”


In the open letter, Vince Cable MP, Chuka Umunna MP and Caroline Lucas MP, all leading supporters of Open Britain, write:

“You have been Prime Minister for more than a year and a half and yet it has taken you until today to explain to the public in any detail what you believe the future relationship between the UK and the EU should look like.

“It was your decision to rule out membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union, yet you and the Brexit Secretary have also promised to retain all the benefits of membership. You must know that this is not realistic.

“We have grave doubts as to whether these six promises can be delivered, and we do not believe they are all desirable. But they are the commitments against which your speech today will be judged. If you back away from them everybody has the right to ask whether the reality of Brexit matches up to what has been promised.

“The time for deceptive rhetoric and outlandish promises is now over. There are only two options today: you must explain to the British public how you will deliver the promises you have made, or come clean that the Brexit you and your ministers have promised is not feasible.”



Notes to editors

The full open letter is published online here.