David Davis accepts that we could leave without a deal

Yesterday on Peston on Sunday David Davis claimed that in the Referendum those who supported Leave were knowingly voting to leave the single market, ie a hard Brexit. That’s not what Liberal Democrats are hearing on the doorstep.

Davis also said that we might leave the EU without any deal at all, and we had to plan for that possible outcome.

You can watch the interview here, starting 6:20 minutes in.

Tim Farron said:

David Davis is completely out of his depth. Brexit without a deal would be a disaster. It would mean no deal on trade, no deal on travel rights, no deal on the quality of goods. How on earth can he pretend that is a good thing?

Nobody knows what Brexit will look like. The choices Theresa May is making will affect people’s lives and Britain for decades – that’s people’s jobs, the weekly shop, our environment, our safety, where we can travel to and where people can live.

That’s why Liberal Democrats think everyone must have the final say on whether Theresa May’s Brexit deal is right for them in a referendum. And if people don’t like that deal, they should have the choice to remain in the European Union.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • I think we will leave without a deal. This will be detrimental to both sides, but it seems that the EU are determined that Brexit cannot be a success for us and are willing to harm themselves to make this so. So be it. Opinions won’t change, they’ll just harden.

  • El Sid

    That’s always possible as politics always trumps economics as far as the EU is concerned but the one thing the EU is desperate for is money,hard Brexit & they get zilch.

    Can’t see a line of volunteers ready to pay the UK’s contribution or have their funding cut.

  • John, you say politics trumps economics when the EU is concerned. I believe you are right. I didn’t believe this when I voted leave, then I really thought there was be a free trade deal because it was in everyone’s interests that it was so. I really didn’t believe the EU would harm its members for political reasons, it now appears I was naive. This has hardened my attitude not changed my mind.

  • Nicholas Cunningham 15th May '17 - 1:56pm

    The EU desperate for money, what a ridiculous statement.

  • Andrew Melmoth 15th May '17 - 2:02pm

    Preserving the single market is far more important to European business and prosperity than trade with the UK. We have set ourselves against the economic interests of our most important market. Tory brexiters, who know they have sold a complete fantasy to the electorate, don’t want a deal because they don’t want to own the consequences of Brexit. Far better to crash out and blame the EU for the inevitable failure.

  • Mrs May has said we will be leaving the single market many times since she became PM, so there should be no confusion for anyone voting in the general election.


    “Theresa May has said the UK “cannot possibly” remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”.

  • nvelope2003 15th May '17 - 3:01pm

    She was an incompetent and useless minister and has no qualifications to be Prime Minister. Even if leaving the EU was a benefit to the UK her negotiations would leave us worse off than before. Sadly the public seem unaware of this but as you keep saying they voted for it and they must have it.

    Soon the press will try to replicate its success in the EU referendum by winning one to abolish income tax. Do you think Parliament will accept that and what would happen if they did ?

  • why nvelope2003 we’d be in Kansas

    Kansas is broke – but you wouldn’t guess it looking at its shining state capitol in Topeka. The imposing limestone monument, crowned by a shiny copper dome and limned with John Steuart Curry’s luminous murals, has just undergone a $325m facelift. What’s happening inside the state house is a lot less pretty, and may well foreshadow the far uglier battle looming over the future of taxation in the United States.


  • Nice to see the brave Brexiteers are coming around to the conclusion Brexit will hurt. Now all they have to do is work out who will be most hurt, hint it isn’t the EU and consider if their decision was worth it. I suspect we will have many months of real hurt until some see the light, the other will just continue to squeal “tis not fair, nasty EU”

  • Andrew McCaig 15th May '17 - 6:46pm

    I see things are coming out from under the bridge again!

    “When things go wrong it will all be the fault of the EU, willing to harm themselves for politics”

    That is exactly what May is doing. She could have promoted stating in the Single Market, which is supported by enough Leave voters to be a majority. But her obsession with the ECJ means she is prepared to do incalculable harm to our economy on the basis of her personal feelings and political advantage through the merger with UKIP

  • It is hilarious to see pro-Brexit people claiming that “for the EU, politics trumps economics” when that is exactly the position they adopted twelve months ago when they championed leave irrespective of the economic damage it would cause us. It is a ironic that they didn’t listen to May when she warned of this danger prior to the referendum, yet now hang on her every word as if she is the font of all wisdom.

  • Politics should trump economics in the broad sense. The problem for the remain camp is they keep predicting economic Armageddon and it keeps failing to happen. By the way Inflation was much much higher all through the 70s and 80s when we were in the common market. It was also much higher when it became the EU in 1992. And it basically is now about as high as it was during much of the coalition years.
    If we leave without a deal so does the EU and really most deals are between companies not governments anyway. It will just come down to some tariffs and shouting matches about nothing very much. A lot of folk in both camps have imbued the EU with near mystical power it doesn’t really have and that will disappoint them equally in the long run.

  • nvelope2003 16th May '17 - 3:19pm

    Glenn – yes indeed but as you point out it has gone up. People have got used to low inflation and will not like it especially if they cannot get those stonking big wage rises they used to get in compensation. That should stir things up a bit especially as the ones to suffer most are probably those who voted Leave as advised by the Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph.

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