LETTER: Brexit - We cannot afford a bad deal

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Over 18 months ago, the UK electorate voted narrowly to leave the EU in the belief that leaving would improve the UK. Looking at the possible ways forward, politicians said no-one voted to be poorer. 
However, the recently leaked UK Government forecasts show that each of three possible outcomes of Brexit would do that – make us poorer. In the case of leaving with no deal – which appears to be a possibility and which some advocate – growth of the economy would be reduced by eight per cent over the next 15 years.

The effect of a no-deal Brexit here in the East Midlands is forecast to be a reduction in growth of eight per cent. Sadly, the effect would be even greater in some of the parts of the country that voted heaviest to leave in the hope that leaving would improve their lot – when the reverse appears true.

We already know that negotiating to leave the EU is proving difficult and the UK Government has yet to clarify in any detail what it hopes to achieve. Maybe it will prove possible in the next six months to negotiate a way forward that preserves the current benefits of easy market access to the EU in goods and services, avoiding the disruption that barriers to trade would create.

If that does not prove possible the UK cannot afford to leave with a bad deal or with no deal. In that case our sovereign UK Parliament should use its powers to suspend the process and allow a second referendum so that the we get a chance to decide – with the information we have available then -whether to stay in the EU or to leave. Leaving the EU is not inevitable – we still have a choice but not for much longer.

Martin Willey


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