The former Brexit Secretary David Davis has said that the Chequers Plan would be “profoundly dangerous” because it leaves the UK tied to EU rules and regulations without any say on their application.
Mr Davis, who resigned last week after disagreeing with the Prime Minister over this proposal, has written in the Financial Times this morning, arguing that Britain’s ability to be seen as a credible and competitive trading partner would be stifled by being tied to EU regualtions. He said that “not controlling our own regulation is far from an arcane technicality. It would mean that the UK is simply not running its own economy.”
Mr Davis pointed to US President Donald Trump’s recent comments that this proposal would “kill” any prospect of a UK-US Trade deal because we wouldn’t have any say on mutual standards in an agreement. He said that “without control over goods, we would lack the crucial leverage to open up the UK’s export of services to the rest of the world.”
The former Minsiter for Europe under John Major, stressed that if we are to fully embrace the opportunities offered to us under Brexit then we should give Parliament the authoirty to set the rules that encourage innovation, which will be crucial if we are to compete with markets like the US. He said that “much of the regulation that emerges from Brussels favours incumbent firms — keeping smaller, innovative entrants out of the marketplace.”
He wrote too of the future relationship with the EU and argued that whilst we must ensure there is alignment with rules and regulations, it goes “against our economic and democratic interests that we would have to harmonise to single market rules.” He said that of course there will be costs involved, including customs clearance, but that the opportunities availbale to the UK when we leave the EU will outweigh these costs.
However, Mr Davis concluded that what we need to make Brexit a true success is a shift in attitude. He said that a “revival of entrepreneurial spirit, and optimism triumphing over fear” is what will allow us to prosper once we leave the EU. The current proposal is a “halfway house” he said and it does little to honour the Brexit vote and misses the point of why people voted to leave in the first place.