Friday, 1 September 2017

Ten Own Goals From The UK’s Brexit Position Papers.

Papers ‘contain enough waffle to open a Belgian restaurant’ and highlight how the EU benefits Britain.

The Government’s own Brexit position papers repeatedly concede being in the EU has benefited Britain, pro-soft Brexit campaigners have said.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has been at the negotiating table with his European counterpart Michel Barnier this week, thrashing out the first steps towards a deal. 

But Open Britain, the pro-single market campaign group, has said the flurry of papers the Government has put out, aimed at making Brexit a smooth process, contain a number of own goals and, as they repeatedly concede the EU has benefited Britain, could trip up Davis’ team.

Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson said: “Despite containing enough waffle to open a Belgian restaurant, the Government’s position papers do make one thing clear: our current status in the EU provides huge benefits to the people of Britain.

“The Government’s own position papers reveal the hypocrisy at the heart of their hard Brexit strategy. They acknowledge the huge benefits delivered by a close relationship with our European partners, while embarking on a hard Brexit course that is putting so many of those benefits at risk.

“Rather than spending vast amounts of time, effort and money in a doomed attempt to recreate a convoluted, inferior version of what we already have, the Government should take the best option available to them: keeping the UK in the single market and the customs union.”

Davis, meanwhile, has accused the EU of lacking “imagination” and “flexibility” as Barnier refuses to discuss trade before the divorce bill is settled.

Brussels has insisted discussions about the future relationship can begin only after “sufficient progress” on the “divorce fee”, citizens’ rights, and the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic.

No figure has yet been put on the payment Britain will make when it leaves the bloc but European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested it could be about £55bn.

Unconfirmed reports have put it as high as £92bn. 

By Rachel Wearmouth.

Full story at Huffingtonpost.

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