Figures out this week from Boris Johnson MP’s Treasury said that businesses will face costs of £7.5 billion in the face of a no deal Brexit. These aren’t costs associated with new tariffs, these are simply costs from the UK being outside of a Customs Union and new red tape being imposed on business.
I asked the Minister who he expected would have to pay for this £7.5 billion in costs. Would it be the business having to absorb them? Would it be consumers having to pay more for goods? Or would it be employees who lose income or even jobs?
The answer from the Minister showed how much this government is flailing around with no direction or control over the cost of their actions. He said that these costs would be put on all three of the above options.
This is dangerously reckless policies towards businesses. This will mean that formerly profitable businesses will struggle, costs will increase in supply chains and the price at the checkout will rise. This is just another reason why no deal Brexit must be avoided at all costs.
The Prime Minister came to the Commons at the end of the week to present his new negotiating position with the EU to MPs.
I wanted to delve into the detail of his proposals because they deeply concern me over the impact on businesses and stability on the island of Ireland. Within paragraph nine of his proposals, the UK Government say that traders moving goods between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain would need to implement a new system of checks. Not only would this place new costs on businesses moving goods and services between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, but it would also introduce infrastructure on the island of Ireland.
We have gone from a situation where there would be one border on the island of Ireland under the former Prime Minister, Theresa May MP’s, deal to two in this.
Additional borders cost money, and in the case of Northern Ireland erect barriers between communities. This is dangerous.
The Prime Minister offered a meeting and I will happily take him up on that offer.
It is time for the UK Government to wake up to the realities of Brexit. The announcement by Airbus – as well as BMW and Siemens – should make them realise that it is time to put forward a decent Brexit settlement and not one based in a strange dreamworld.
The UK Government’s Brexit negotiations are failing as they can’t even decide amongst themselves what they want. This is putting decent employers in a terrible position where they cannot plan for the future.
1,500 people live in Delyn and work at the Airbus plant in Broughton. We cannot lose these jobs and the Government should get its act together and agree with me, and the Labour Party, that we should become a member of a Customs Union and a version of the European Economic Area. This will secure our trading partnership with the EU and jobs.
But this isn’t just a question of trading relationships it’s about aviation standards. The Government couldn’t promise me today that the UK will remain part of these vital bodies. Without membership of this body planes won’t fly: as simple as that.
Once again I sought clarification on how the UK Government will know what is being transported between the different parts of the UK and countries outside of our borders when we leave the Customs Union and Single Market.
The Prime Minister gave a short and unhelpful answer just asserting that you don’t need a Customs Union or Single Market. But this fails to take into account British businesses need to know if items coming into the UK meet our standards or how products leaving the UK to our EU neighbours meet their standards once we leave. Once again we have muddled thinking from the UK Government.