It has been reported that Commonwealth leaders are resisting moves by the British government to use the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting at Windsor as a platform to promote the British government’s plans for a hard Brexit.
Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“The Government wants to turn the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, hosted by the Queen, into a pro-Brexit political jamboree to showcase the myth that new trade deals with non-EU countries can make up for the lost trade resulting from the UK government yanking us out of the EU Single Market and Customs Union.
“The aim is to turn the Queen and Commonwealth leaders into mouth pieces for Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Liam Fox who need to deliver on their promise of an immediate trade bonanza from March 2019.
“The UK already has the benefit of over 50 trade deals through the EU Customs Union, including with Commonwealth countries like Canada, South Africa, and Ghana, and is currently negotiating new agreements with India and others.
“It will take years and years for the UK to negotiate new trade agreements with Commonwealth countries and it is naïve to think much larger countries will not act in their own interests and that we will be able to achieve the same terms of trade as we do when working as part of a block of half a billion people in the EU.”