Opinion: Leaving with ‘No Deal’ will be a ‘disaster’
PUBLISHED: 08:30 10 August 2019
Since its establishment after the 2016 Referendum, I have been one of six Labour members of parliament’s select committee on Exiting the European Union, chaired by Hilary Benn.
The committee's latest report, published on July 19, is entitled 'The consequences of 'No Deal' for UK business'.
It spells out the impact of leaving the EU without a deal on five key business sectors.
In each case, the picture is bleak.
In car manufacturing, the report points out that a No Deal Brexit would impose an average £2,700 import duty on every UK-made car exported to Europe.
That's why car manufacturers are talking about shifting production out of the UK, with Vauxhall the latest.
There would also be severe disruption in the services sector which accounts for 80 per cent of the UK economy.
Things would be particularly hard for many small firms.
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There would be medicine shortages.
The likely impact on UK farming is labelled a "disaster", as the two thirds of UK agriculture exports going to the EU would face import duties of up to 50 per cent.
There would be an "untenable" vacuum for UK-based scientific research.
The new prime minister says he is committed to the UK leaving the EU on October 31 "come what may".
Unless he is able to succeed in three months where Theresa May failed over three years - getting a deal that is acceptable to both the European Union and to our parliament - that will mean leaving with 'No Deal'.
The prime minister appears oblivious to the economic damage and job losses this will cause, spelt out in our report.
He needs to recognise the reality and change course.
He should allow the people to decide, in a new referendum, whether to go ahead with Brexit on the basis he proposes, or instead to Remain in the EU.
- Do you agree with calls for a second EU referendum? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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