The EU Council published its draft negotiating guidelines on the future UK-EU relationship today. The guidelines set out that, due to the UK Government’s red lines on the Single Market and the Customs Union, the only possible approach is a free trade agreement. This will mean much worse economic and trading links than the UK and the EU enjoy now.
Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“Today’s EU guidelines are the direct consequence of the Government’s unnecessary and reckless decision to take membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union off the table.
“As Theresa May conceded last week, her self-imposed red lines mean Brexit cannot do anything but hurt our trade with the EU, adding new bureaucracy and barriers to trade.
“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor have said that a free trade deal like the one the EU has with Canada will damage our economy but their own choices have left it as their only realistic option.
“The Council’s guidelines are clear that it is not too late for the Government to change course, but with just a year to go in the negotiations, time is running out.
“Given the emerging reality about the enormous costs and sheer complexity of Brexit, everyone is entitled to keep an open mind about whether it really is the right path for the country.”
Notes to editors:
The EU Council’s draft guidelines for the future relationship can be viewed here.