New report by MPs say “no deal” option should be discounted entirely
Walking away with “no deal” should not be an option says MPs. A new opinion poll suggests there’s also little support from the public for leaving the EU without a deal.
In a report on UK trade options beyond 2019, a committee of MPs concluded that ‘the “no deal” option should be discounted entirely.” This is, the report argues, because walking away with “no deal” would mean that the government would not be able to achieve its ambition of “tariff-free trade” and “frictionless customs arrangements”.
It is quite clear that “no deal” is in effect a deal to trade with the EU under WTO rules. The Prime Minister has said that it is her ambition to seek tariff-free trade with the EU and frictionless customs arrangements. It is clear that WTO rules would not permit this.
Therefore, the “no deal” option should be discounted entirely.
UK trade options beyond 2019, House of Commons International Trade committee
This is the first report of the International Trade committee, which is chaired by SNP MP Angus MacNeil and whose members include six Tory MPs and three Labour MPs. You can see more on the report at parliament.uk.
In Theresa May’s big Brexit speech at Lancaster House, she said that Britain would be prepared to walk away with “no deal” rather than have a “bad deal” with the EU. This report clearly does not agree with the prime minister’s stance.
A new poll also suggests there’s little support amongst the public for Britain leaving without a deal. The survey for the Independent by BMG Research asked about what “should happen next” in a “no deal” scenario. Whilst 25% of those polled thought we should leave the EU with “no deal”, 27% thought the prime minister should renegotiate a deal and 29% said that we should stay in the EU either on new terms or on existing terms.
Who gets to decide… Government or Parliament?
Peers in the House of Lords are currently debating an amendment for Parliament to get a vote on the outcome of negotiations including leaving the EU with “no deal”. In an earlier post, we wrote that the amendment is significant because it means the government cannot take the UK out of the EU without parliamentary approval – whether there is a deal or no deal.
There is still uncertainty over what would happen if “no deal” can be reached in negotiations with the EU. It’s clear from Theresa May’s speech what the government thinks would happen in this scenario. However, there is legal opinion that suggests that unless there is another Act of Parliament for Britain’s “actual withdrawal”, Britain might yet remain in the EU.
Peers will vote on the amendment later today and reports suggest that it’s likely to be passed. If it is, the bill would go back to the House of Commons where MPs will debate this new amendment as well as one requiring the government to bring proposals on securing the residency rights of EU nationals in the UK.