The Prime Minister has been urged to ditch her plans for a soft Brexit and pursue a “superior” Canada-style deal, writes Camilla Tominey. Theresa May published her White Paper on Thursday which Leavers insist would pave the way for the softest possible Brexit next March.
Now senior Brexiteers have drafted a paper setting out how to get the Government’s Brexit strategy back on track.
The report, by Economists for Free Trade and endorsed by Leave Means Leave, warns the Government’s plans would “see a large part of our economy continue to be ruled by the EU” and how free EU movement would continue.
It says: “The Prime Minister’s Chequers plan is Brexit In Name Only – BRINO. This would lock the UK into current EU arrangements for an indeterminate number of years, preventing the UK from embracing worldwide free trade and putting in place new pro-growth regulations.”
The paper predicts that this is just the starting point in the negotiations, and the Government will be “forced to retreat further into the clutches of the EU”.
It warns that trying to get such a weak deal through Parliament would be “suicide” for the Tory leadership.
The Brexiteers make the case for a Canada+ option meaning zero tariff barriers between the UK and EU.
It disputes the claim that there would be barriers between the UK and the EU: “Any such surge in barriers would be completely illegal under World Trade Organisation rules. Border procedures must be seamless and effectively costless.”
More than half of UK trade is governed by WTO rules now and it is projected to increase.
The paper criticises the “ignorance” of how WTO rules work which has allowed Project Fear “to take hold among industrialists and the civil service”.
It says: “They have assumed the WTO world is a lawless world in which ‘hostile governments’ can ‘make trouble’. Yet WTO law is plain – it mandates seamless border procedures and outlaws discrimination on standards.”