Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight

Hilary Benn’s Brexit select committee has descended into its first inevitable bunfight after it published a report demanding a significant transition arrangement before we fully leave the EU. As Guido reported yesterday, Remainers want to use a ‘transition’ lasting several years to buy time and prevent a real Brexit. Predictably, the Remain majority Brexit select committee has suggested it wants the same. Karl McCartney, a Leave committee member, has broken ranks to blast his committee’s own report:

“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… 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.”

Change Britain, which has Brexit select committee member Michael Gove among its supporters, is also unimpressed. Gisela Stuart says:

“There are sensible practical arguments that can be made in favour of negotiating a transitional deal to give businesses time to prepare as we leave the EU. However, any such arrangements must be time limited and must not be used by those who refuse to accept the referendum result to keep the UK in the EU by the back door.”

A swift transitional period may be sensible, a prolonged delay is a Remain attempt to prevent a real Brexit…




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George Osborne’s Evening Standard leader on Leave voters:

“Now, like a duped drunk in a strip bar, voters find that, far from getting their hands on the goodies, they have been left with a large bill.”

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