LPUK trade spokesperson writes for the Telegraph [Op-Ed]

WTO | About the organization - The WTO building: Centre William Rappard

Written by cody5200

NeatSaucer recently wrote an article which made me chuckle and anyone who has been following politics would have been able to see the massive irony in their article.

They claimed:

We have promised to ink out deals with the United States, Japan and similar nations to ensure that as we are leaving the EU with a deal, we can have enhanced trading opportunities, strengthened global partnerships, and increased revenue. These are things which a Blurple Government cannot even in its wildest dreams provide for the people of the United Kingdom.

Let us remember it was the Conservative and Libertarians that saved Brexit from the disaster that was the Liberal alliance who was incompetent at negotating and embarrased the UK on the world stage. This is highly ironic coming from a government which contains the Liberal Democrats who botched negotiations leaving the Tories and Libertarians to save the day and secure a deal with the European Union. Blurple has a track record of delivering whereas Labour has a track record of trying to overturn democratic results and pushing for the debunked Ukraine model. The piece showed how of touch with politics the author was. The fact is Labour have never had a credible plan and at present do not have one. I highly doubt the UK will sign a US trade deal before the end of the implementation period due to the need for the government to focus energy on EU talks. The Libertarians absolutely back a trade deal with the United States and it is hard to take Labour seriously when they have espoused anti US trade deal rhetoric before. Furthermore they can’t even decide what their trade policy is. First they were for abolishing tariffs then against. Labour have no credibility on the matter of international trade.

When we first formed the Blurple government we have put forward a clear and concise vision for a Brexit. A blueprint on how to do it properly and in a manner that most if not all brexiteers can easily get behind. A comprehensive trade agreement with relevant provisions for other issues such as aviation, citizen’s rights, and other issues that would have to be inevitably settled by the 31st.

We built upon this progress in the second and third Blurple governments with the third government almost finalizing the deal to put the issue of Brexit once and for all. Not everything in life goes to plan and the coalition collapsed. Yet the progress made still remains, owing to the efforts of competent ministers like the Foreign and International Trade Secretaries. Two people, I had the immense pleasure of working with in my time as a cabinet secretary.

However, number 10 has a new occupant, a minority Labour-Liberal government that frankly has no clue what it is doing. All that we have heard from them is that they will pursue some sort of a deal by after the official deadline and even that came from a leak, not through official channels. We don’t know what sort of a deal the government wants, how will they solve the issue of Northern Ireland, or the degree of integration with the EU their deal would entail. All we know is that there might be a deal by the first and after that, it’s up to us to fill in the blanks. This is a stark contrast to Blurple where the framework for the EU-UK relationship has been public since July 2019.

This is especially dangerous because whenever uncertainty is introduced to the market chaos and instability. Moreover, no trade deal occurs in a vacuum, a deal we sign with the EU will inevitably impact our trade relationships elsewhere. For instance say the government botched the deal and breached the GFA. Not only would this directly impact Northern Ireland, but also impede a potential UK-US trade deal, due to the current makeup of US congress. This will be true no matter who occupies number 10 and through enhanced parliamentary scrutiny we can avoid such a nightmare scenario.

Glossing over the material issues related to such a strategy, is this really how we want our government to behave with the deadline creeping ever closer? The government is already yet to explain to the House why they wish to haphazardly neuter our force projection capabilities in the Indian Ocean and now they are leaving the House of Commons and more importantly the markets in the dark about one of the largest and most complex undertakings in our history.  There is also no guarantee that there will be a majority for the government’s deal to pass unlike in the case of Blurple 3 where the government could expect to pass its deal easily.  What happens then? 

That is why it is crucial for the coalition to build upon the progress of the Blurple government’s strategy and consequently pursue a free trade agreement with no further EU integration beyond the barebones like the Irish protocol and ultimately why I and my party have felt obliged to table the Brexit integrity bill. We must ensure that Brexit is done on time and properly, lest we wish to risk another 2-page sunrise whitepaper…

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