LibLink: Catherine Bearder – Dear Prime Minister – Playing Hard Ball On Brexit Will Only Weaken Britain’s Position, Not Strengthen It

Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder has been providing some advice to the prime minister over on the Huffington Post:

Dear Prime Minister,

This weekend I had the pleasure of joining the tens of thousands of people marching in London against your vision of a Britain after Brexit.

A sun-soaked Parliament Square provided a brilliant back drop to what was also a celebration. As you know, this weekend marked the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, and while we marched in London your European contemporaries met in Rome to mark 60 years of peace in the EU.

Our celebrations in London were of course tinged with sadness and fear as we prepared ourselves for you to hit the self-destruct button by triggering Article 50 to formally begin the Brexit process.

Your version of Brexit – a so called ‘Hard Brexit’ – does nothing to unify the 48% with the 52% and shows you are willing to take our country into an unknown land without even considering meaningful negotiations with the EU.

Catherine continues:

If I may, Prime Minister, I would like to give you one tip: European politics is a different ball game to British politics. Europeans form coalitions, work with people and that’s how the EU has effectively built free trade agreements with 53 markets across the world.

In order to get any sort of good deal for Britain we need friends, not enemies; you should be reaching out, not turning your back or stamping your well shod feet. British expectations should be realistic from the outset.

The most worrying part of your speech back in January was your assertion that no deal was better than a bad deal – but as all businesses, banks, governments and the WTO have said – this would be a disaster for Britain and our economy.

Please Mrs May, consider the perils of a no deal and take the advice from a fellow British politician experienced in European politics. Instead of threatening, work constructively and cooperatively and you will be met with a readiness to negotiate a deal that works for both sides.

You can read the full piece here.

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One Comment

  • John Barrett 30th Mar '17 - 10:22am

    European politics is a different ball game to British politics, but sometimes the game goes on for much too long.

    One reason for the expected very long timetable predicted by negotiators for Brexit negotiations, may well be that when the negotiations are over those who are now directly involved and earning more that the Prime Minister, as UK Trade Negotiators, will be out of a job.

    It took approximately seven years for negotiators to settle a trade deal with Canada.

    It beggars belief that it took longer than World War Two for people sitting round a table to come up with an acceptable trade agreement. I am not saying that it will be easy, but a longer than required timetable will not necessarily improve the end product.

    There are areas where both sides should be able to agree a number of issues reasonably quickly, such as the rights of settlement of EU citizens and co-operation on cross border crime. This could then pave the way for other more complex issues, but resistance to discussing longer term trade deals until all the exit negotiations are concluded will not impress many on either side of the currently divided UK voting public.

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