Where Angles Fear to Tread

June 27, 2016

Where do we go from here?

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 5:48 pm

Following the Leave campaign victory in the referendum a large number of people are asking if there is a plan. A perfectly reasonable question but one that should be answered by both sides. The Remain campaign had the entire resources of the civil service behind them, but the BBC are reporting that the PM told them not to make plans, and the Leave campaign had some very clever people involved who surely should have given it some consideration.

Businesses, the Bank of England and HM Treasury clearly have done some contingency planning but a plan is still conspicuous by their absence. Still at least someone found George Osbourne, so he hasn’t emmigrated yet!

So – in no particular orders – areas to concentrate on:

  • Reassure EU Citizens in UK
    • Guarantee those EU citizens already in the UK that they have leave to remain and the only difference will be that they may not be able to vote in local and Westminster elections. This guarantee needs to include all EU passport holders in the UK at the time of the referendum (or those on holiday from their normal home in the UK) and needs to be done quickly.
  • Trade deals with non-EU countries
    • There is nothing stopping us start negotiating with other countries to take affect after article 50 runs its course. It would probably be easier to start with US and the Commonwealth countries
  • Trade deal with EU
    • Strangely trade after leaving is not included in Article 50 (which is a vague piece of legislation), and so we need to start discussing this. This will clearly require some common sense with our EU counterparts, but I can’t imagine they want to get into a trade war, as we import more to them than we export from them
    • This doesn’t need to be free trade as this would come with a requirement for free movement, but should be tarrif and paperwork light
  • Discussion with EU
    • Discuss the outline of steps to be taken after article 50 is invoked. The EU leaders have initially said that they will not start discussions before article 50, but delay only hurts them, and so agreeing an outline, arranging meetings, and ensuring the relevant people are available to discuss would seem to be sensible preparation
    • When finished this roadmap should be published so that Business can use it to make some plans
  • Invoke Article 50
    • At some point we need to do this and start the formal process of leaving. During this time we need to ensure that we secure people already in the EU from the UK and vice-versa to ensure no individual is deported, or moved as part of this. As we have 2 years to complete, with extension only granted by all 27 other members of the EU this seems to be a hard deadline. As such we shouldn’t rush to do this.
    • Get any money back we have leant EU countries as part of any bailouts (either directly or indirectly) – except Ireland who we leant money to directly
  • Freedom to travel within EU
    • Discussion of freedom to travel within the EU and the UK without the need for visas (ala the EEA inc Switzerland)
    • For short term business and for personal purposes.
  • Hire good people quickly
    • We don’t have a lot of experience of negotiating trade deals, or leaving the EU so experts in these types of discussion will be required. This will mean paying people the market rate for these jobs and paying well. It will be worth it.

I’m sure you can all add additional tasks to this list, but it’s a first start from me.

(In the interests of full disclosure I have borrowed so of the points above from friends following discussions with fellow Leavers and staunch Remainers – any errors are mine, not theirs — they know who they are!)

– Right Angle



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