Anne Marie Morris, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Newton Abbot
While there are many important international and domestic issues, Brexit is one of the key issues for this election. In June 2016 the British people voted to leave the EU – this is not the same as leaving Europe. We will, and must, always strive to be good Europeans. What we now need is the best deal for the United Kingdom. A second referendum would delay and confuse that effort.
The nature of the deal negotiated with Europe as to our future relationship is crucial. But a bad deal is worse than no deal. Why? What happens if there is no deal? No deal means we walk away without any obligation to make any payment to the EU and no obligation to submit to the EU courts.
If there is no deal then the UK and EU will comply with WTO rules of trade. These rules set maximum tariffs that can be applied, but they also provide for interim arrangements to be put in place which would probably include retaining the status quo of zero rate tariffs.
So we won’t suddenly fall of a cliff and be subject to huge tariffs. It is worth noting that if both the UK and the EU imposed maximum tariffs, the EU would pay £12.9 billion in tariffs and the UK £5.2 billion so there is not much incentive for the EU to ask for tariffs to be imposed.
Indeed the business bodies in France, Germany and many other EU member states are calling on their governments not to impose new tariffs. In addition we will have the freedom to enter into our own free trade agreements with non EU countries, something which at present we cannot do.
Will we suddenly find queues of ships at ports or millions stranded requiring visas? No! We already have arrangements in place for trade with many other countries outside the EU. In most cases goods and vessels are precleared before they arrive. This system will be extended to ensure a seamless transition whatever happens.
Both Theresa May and the EU negotiators have said they want to sort out the migration arrangements early to ensure the rights currently enjoyed by UK citizens in Europe and EU nationals in the UK will be retained and respected. We won’t suddenly overnight find visas are required. We won’t be doing it the Trump way. There will be transitional arrangements put in place.
Clearly going forward we need an immigration system which still enables British businesses to recruit the staff they need from overseas. We also need an education system which is much more proactive in building our own UK skills base not just among our youngsters, but also those who need to develop new skills later in life. For me this must to be a priority.
Farmers have for the most part seen leaving the Common Agricultural Policy behind as an opportunity to put in place a better system which encourages them to produce more not less while still ensuring high environmental standards. Our fishermen also deserve a fair deal. I would like and expect to see all our territorial waters returned and a new time, not catch, based quota systems put in place which benefits the UK as the owner!
But what we really want is a good deal with the EU without having to rely on the WTO arrangements. Theresa May can only get a good deal if it is clear she has a strong mandate from the British people. That is why in this election Brexit is such a major issue.
While parliament is recessed please see my website for surgery times for urgent matters which we can help with.
Promoted by Roger Kendrick on behalf of Anne Marie Morris both of 2 Salisbury House, Salisbury Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 2DF