LibLink: Tom Brake: Boris and Davis aren’t the only ones suffering from “Delusionitis”

In an article for the Huffington Post, Lib Dem Brexit Spokesperson forensically takes apart six arguments made by the Tory MP for Sutton and Cheam in a letter to his constituents.

Tom tackled the assertion that the thought of a referendum on the deal would encourage the EU to give us a bad deal.

So far, the negotiations have clearly demonstrated that the EU is in a much stronger negotiating position, with our Government capitulating at every turn. In fact, when asked in December to name a concession that the EU had made, the only thing EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier could think of was that he did not “at this stage insist that the UK should pay the removal costs” for EU agencies. This should come as no surprise as the EU’s GDP is five times larger than ours. In other words, Brexit will damage our economy much more than theirs.

The EU’s position has been clear from the very beginning; The integrity of the Single Market must be protected and is non-negotiable. This does not mean punishing Britain by giving it a bad deal. It simply means that a country that does not accept the four freedoms, the jurisdiction of the ECJ, and contributing to the EU budget, will not enjoy the exact same benefits of the Single Market membership. Neither a Hard Brexit nor a second referendum is going to change the EU’s position. We know what is on offer, and the ball is thus in the Government’s court to decide what type of future relationship with the EU it wants.

He also poured scorn on the idea that the Tories could be trusted to maintain the workers’ rights that the EU currently guarantees:

The Conservative Party does not have a great track record when it comes to workers’ rights. When the EU’s Working Time Directive was adopted, the Conservative UK government unsuccessfully sought to have the directive annulled. Again in 2015, David Cameron’s Conservative Government tried to secure a British opt-out from the Directive, along with other EU employment laws. Finally, Theresa May has repeatedly refused to promise that the Working Time Directive will be kept in place after Brexit, despite strong popular support for the Directive: A new poll from the IPPR shows that 73 per cent of the public support retaining or strengthening it.

Moreover, the proposed Henry VIII powers contained in the EU Withdrawal Bill will give ministers ample opportunity to scrap workers’ rights.

You can read the whole article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

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  • Richard Underhill 2nd Mar '18 - 10:55am

    On BBC tv Question Time on1/3/2018 Ken Clarke MP (Con) said that what is needed is a free vote in Parliament.

  • John Marriott 2nd Mar '18 - 12:39pm

    On the same programme, how often did we hear members of the audience ask for “a strong leader”? It would appear that the ‘Führerprinzip’ is alive and well over here as well as in certain other parts of the world. Very worrying!

  • Denis Loretto 3rd Mar '18 - 10:23am

    Two things are becoming ever clearer –
    1. Theresa May is being forced into a position whereby she acknowledges the need to replicate at enormous expense much of the crucial services and mechanisms of the EU without actually staying in the EU or single market or customs union.

    2. The hard brexiteers will allow her to offer virtually anything she wants as long as it is reversible after we leave. They are desperate to reach March 29 2019 and gain the freedom they need to start dismantling the protections and safeguards intrinsic to EU membership.

  • Peter Hirst 4th Mar '18 - 12:34pm

    What cheeses at least me off is that the government are pretending they are in charge of these negotiations when in fact they have hardly any negotiating power. Some humility and honesty would go a long way. I accept however that it is an extremely difficult hand that TM has been given.

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