This article was first published on The Commentator
A transitional arrangement could easily end up meaning another five years until Brexit means Brexit. That could mean Brexit doesn’t happen at all. The talk of a transitional arrangement needs to stop. Let’s just get Britain out, and stop the dithering.
It recently emerged Brexit Secretary David Davis and the Chancellor, Philip Hammond have been having weekly meetings, in which — among other things — they have agreed on pursuing a so-called ‘transitional deal’.
This would mean staying in the Single Market, unable to control our borders, and quite possibly unable to control our laws and trade policy – things we we voted for in the EU Referendum — for an extra two or more years, possibly kicking Brexit even further down the road and into the long grass.
It’s a dangerous route to go down, and smacks of some politicians still trying to water down, or even halt Brexit.
We have already waited almost a year for Article 50 to be triggered, and some politicians are now proposing we wait for up to 5 years for the Brexit negotiations to be completed.
They are talking about transitional arrangements which could extend this into at least a 5-year wait until Brexit means Brexit. Worse still, while promises of a set exit date may be given, we all know how reliable the EU is about its promises.
Any such transitional deal could well be extended over and over again, while our politicians’ resolve is ground down, railroading us into a soft, or even, a fake Brexit.
Proponents argue business needs time to adapt. If we are to have a deal, it will have to have been reached well before two years are up, so the EU has time to approve it, which will in itself take months.
By the end of 2019, business would already have had plenty of time to understand Brexit would be happening — and months of knowing the exact details. In our modern economy, businesses must move fast. The time they are given to adapt will be ample. With plenty of notice given, it would hardly be a cliff-edge — more a gentle hillock. The media and the Remainers should stop using such emotive language.
Not only would a transitional arrangement be unnecessary, it would be a slap in the face for Brexiteers whose patience has already been stretched thin.
This red herring could even damage negotiations. This would be seen as the UK asking the EU for a favour, wasting valuable negotiating time. Trying to call in such a ‘favour’ would make us seem weak — to the world and to the EU — as if we are not prepared for what our aim is, to Get Britain Out of the EU. This would be of no benefit to a global Brexit Britain.
Since the EU Referendum the Great British People have rallied behind Brexit. A recent poll identified that only 22 percent of Brits now want to reverse the result of the Referendum. This means more than half the Remain vote now respects the result.
In the 2017 General Election 85 percent voted for parties committed to real Brexit, although Labour has gone wobbly since.
Despite this, and despite the fact 408 out of 650 constituencies voted Leave, the majority of MPs voted Remain themselves. In the new Parliament only 138 Conservative MPs voted Leave, while 176 voted Remain. This shows what we are up against when we want to focus on the best Brexit for Great Britain,
Much of the Remain remnant, from MPs like Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry to activists like Gina Miller and Will Straw, support a transitional deal: the longer the better. They would, of course. It would give them more time to organize a Brexit revolt, to scaremonger, and to try to reverse the result of the referendum. We are sure this is not what David Davis, a long-time Eurosceptic, wants.
This is, though, what the half-in half-out limbo of a transitional deal would end up meaning, and would give the Remoaners ample opportunity to try and scupper Brexit.
In the best-case scenario, they would attempt to give us a watered-down Brexit – unworthy of the name. In the worst case, no Brexit.
This would mean us being under the control of the EU army, the Euro, huge EU contributions, unending free movement and no control over our laws – just look at how the EU is still trying to force the ECJ down our throats over Prime Minister Theresa May’s offer on EU citizen’s rights to stay in the EU after Brexit! Such a road is too awful to contemplate.
In the interests of safeguarding the best Brexit, and in the interest of Great Britain’s future, Brexiteers must oppose any transitional arrangements. They are unnecessary, demoralising and dangerous.
We must Get Britain Out as soon as possible after the negotiations are over. Brexiteers must get this message to our government –Brexit really means Brexit.
Alexander Fiuza is a Research Executive at cross-party campaign Get Britain Out