Brexit Committee Member Karl McCartney MP takes issue with Committee’s First Report

Lincoln's Member of Parliament and Exiting the EU Select Committee Member, Karl McCartney JP MP, has today publicly taken issue with certain aspects of the Brexit Committee's First Report, including its calls for transitional arrangements on trade and for there to be no return to tariffs for UK businesses.

The Cross-Party Committee Report has concluded that the Conservative Government should publish its Brexit plan by mid-February at the latest. It argues that the Government should set out its position on membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.

In addition, the Report also urges Ministers to seek an outline framework on the UK's future trading relationship with the EU as part of the Article 50 negotiations - including transitional arrangements - if it is not possible to reach a final agreement by the time the UK leaves the EU.

Karl McCartney JP MP, Lincoln's Member of Parliament, said: "As my colleagues on the Brexit Committee know very well, I believe this Report is flawed in certain areas, which should not be a surprise given that the majority of the (mainly Labour and SNP) MPs elected to it voted for us to Remain in the EU in the Referendum.

"Whilst it is a Report with which I agree mostly, along with my sound colleagues on the Committee, I entirely reject the Remain MPs' calls in respect of transitional arrangements on trade and tariffs, nor do I accept some of the more emotive and negative language from the Remain side of the argument.

"I had hoped that a more collegiate view would have prevailed, but some of those representing the minority Parties are obviously not of the same opinion, and so this Select Committee seems to be determined to operate in a different way to others.

These MPs, I fear, are seeking to thwart the democratic will of the 17½ million people who voted to Leave the European Union by taking part in the largest democratic vote our Country has had.

Prolonged transitional arrangements are in neither the UK's, nor indeed the EU's interests - they would merely prolong the uncertainty for businesses and everyone else.

"On tariffs, I see no reason why the EU cannot give us sensible free trade terms similar to those they give other Countries. But just as no deal is better than a poor deal, so I believe if it has to be that World Trade Organisation rules are preferable to the current ones we have as part of the EU.

"The biggest risk to business in our Country is uncertainty. That's why I have been calling for Article 50 to be triggered as soon as possible and then for us to exit the EU at the earliest opportunity.

"In any event, putting all our negotiating cards on the table - as the Remain MPs on our Brexit Select Committee clearly want the Government to do - is definitely not in our national interest and certainly won't help us secure the best deal for Britain."

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For further information, please contact Karl McCartney JP MP at karl.mccartney.mp@parliament.uk / 020 7219 7221.