Thomas – We need to do more than stay in just the Customs Union

The Commons Brexit Committee has warned against leaving the Customs Union in a report published today (Thursday).

Commenting, Gareth Thomas MP, former Trade Minister and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:

“The Brexit Committee is right to highlight the pitfalls of leaving the Custom Union. Only yesterday the chief executive of HMRC made it clear that leaving could cost British business as much as £20 billion a year – even if the fantasy technologies on which the Brexiters’ favourite customs plan rests were available.

“More and more people have come to realise both that we are years away from signing any free trade deals on leaving the EU and that, in any case, no matter how many we signed they would never make up for the damage caused by leaving the Customs Union.

“Staying in the Customs Union, alone, however, will never be enough to protect the bulk of British businesses. Over 80% of our economy is in services and to protect that we need to remain in Europe's economic area and the Single Market. That is also the only realistic way of avoiding a hard border and protecting the peace process in Northern Ireland.

“As the risks and costs of Brexit become clearer, more people are demanding a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. Brexit is just too big to be left to 650 MPs in London, all 65 million people in the UK need to be heard on the final deal.” 

/ends

 

Notes to editors

The report can be read here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmexeu/1060/106002.htm