Seema Malhotra MP statement on the committee’s findings into the Future Trade Agreement with the European Union.
“This Report shows in stark terms the consequences of Theresa May’s failure to get a grip on the divisions at the heart of her Government. Whether it’s on the withdrawal agreement, transition arrangements or future partnership, fundamental questions still remain for our nation’s prosperity and security. May has mishandled and miscalculated the last 21 months. The risk to our businesses and jobs is now greater than ever.
“It is clear that not everything can be done by March 2019. If substantial aspects of the Future Partnership are still to be agreed in October, it will be time to consider seeking an extension of Article 50. Our report states that along with ratification, the Government will need time to implement new administrative systems. New customs arrangements, new trade agreements and new immigration policies are yet to be devised.
“The Government has miscalculated the complexities of Brexit and the time it will take to address them. It has failed even to model the impact of its own preferred plan on the economy. To do so after the deal is negotiated is like saying you’ll do the survey after you buy a house. That is unacceptable – Britain’s families and businesses deserve better. People didn’t vote to make themselves worse off. The Treasury’s own forecasting of the main Brexit options shows all options leave our nation worse off. Last week the Chancellor also confirmed that any savings from Brexit will go to paying for ourselves for much of what the EU does now.
“It’s also vital that the Government now bring a detailed plan on how it proposes to solve the Northern Irish border. The Committee has not seen credible evidence to suggest we can maintain a frictionless border while at the same time leaving the Customs Union and Single Market. This should be the number one priority.
“Theresa May cannot put off the big questions any longer. There is no more long grass. It’s time to make decisions based on the evidence and not ideology.”