Set out below is a pefectly fair question from the EU’s Michel Barnier today. Its significant to my mind that we apparently cannot answer it. But sooner or later the time for cheap soundbites and trite slogans will run out and we will have to decide what type of deal we want. What the EU will not do is allow the UK easy/unrestricted access to its market if we are not prepred to abide by its standards and rules. Its very simple really. If for example EU countries have to abide by laws regarding say maternity and paternity rights, which impose an overhead on business, why should they allow unrestricted access from a non member country if its not prepared to sign up to the same standards (or better). The same principle applies to a huge raft of provisons that are intertwined throughout our economy. To allow us to drop them is just an invitation to allow the UK to start unfair undercutting. If you want to drop the standards thats fine and part no doubt of “taking back control” but don’t expect the EU to then allow unrestricted market access. The UK government has yet to acknowledge this basisc issue has to be addressed. When it does Johnson’s famous “having our cake and eating it too” will be exposed for the nonsense it alway was.
Michel Banier today “The prime minister, Boris Johnson, whom we respect, said that in leaving the European Union the UK was not leaving Europe. We welcome that resolve. The question that arises, for which we have no reply up until now, is this; it’s a fairly simple, but a rather serious question: the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, the single market and the customs union – does it also wish to leave, or move away, from our economic and social model, from the European regulatory model it’s very familiar with because we got it up with the United Kingdom over a period of 47 years? That is the question on which we are awaiting a reply.