I believe this week has shown why it was essential for Parliament to act to prevent a No Deal Brexit on 31 October.
On Monday, HMRC said No Deal would result in £15 billion of new administrative costs for businesses every year. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said No Deal will result in borrowing rising to £100 billion, debt rising to 90% of national income and economic growth flatlining.
No Deal would be a disaster for the economy and businesses and working people would pay the price.
The Government’s reassurances on No Deal do not match up with what businesses are saying. The British Retail Consortium, representing over 5,000 businesses, has said it is “completely impossible” to mitigate the disruption caused by No Deal. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said No Deal will have an “immediate and devastating impact” on the industry. On Thursday, Nissan said No Deal would put its operations in jeopardy.
If a deal or No Deal is not approved by 19 October, the Prime Minister must request an extension to the Brexit deadline.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach said they saw a “pathway” to a possible agreement on the Northern Ireland backstop. I await to see what, if any, new proposals have been made.
However, the Prime Minister has made no attempt to address the many serious issues I have with the overall Brexit deal, already rejected by Parliament. These issues include the need for a comprehensive customs union, close single market alignment and robust protections for rights and standards.
Ultimately, I believe the only way to break the impasse is to give the public the final say between the best deal that can be achieved or remaining in the EU.