Guido has learned that fanatical Remainer and former chairman of BT, Mike Rake, has been desperately ringing round FTSE 100 CEOs asking them to sign up to a last-ditch letter calling for full alignment with EU regulatory bodies, and against the prospect of an Australian-style UK-EU relationship at the end of the year. Guido hears not as many CEOs as expected have jumped on the doomed bandwagon. Even the CBI has come round to the government’s way of thinking on issues like not extending the transition period…
Letter organiser Rake strongly supports the European Movement campaign and sits on the board of Huawei, which has been ferociously promoting the Chinese company’s involvement in UK telecoms. Rake wants the UK to take EU regulations with no vote, and invite in Chinese infrastructure. Giving up control…
Read the letter in full, before it ends up in one of tomorrow’s papers…
Dear Prime Minister,
The coronavirus pandemic has created an enormous economic shock across the UK and around the world. With just six months to go, the end of the Brexit transition period in December threatens to deal a further blow to our economy.
A no-deal Brexit at the end of this year would be hugely damaging to the UK economy, resulting in more people out of work and lower living standards_
The Government’s own analysis suggests that the downside of a no-deal exit, compared to continuing with our current arrangements, would be approximately 8% of GDP in 15 years’ time —perhaps more. We are now witnessing increasing global trade tensions, and a sharp focus on localising of supply chains, that will make promised trade with the USA, China and others more difficult. This will make even the most optimistic upside from global trade of 0.7% of GDP in 15 years less likely.
To minimise the downsides, it is vital that the UK achieves the best possible trading arrangements with the EU and other countries. We are calling for these trading arrangements to uphold the common high standards currently applicable on both sides in the areas of state aid, social and employment standards, environment, climate change and tax.
Continued alignment with the key EU regulatory bodies that allow free flow of products in such areas as pharmaceutical, medical and chemical supplies is also essential to keep non-tariff barriers to a minimum_ The UK’s financial services businesses also urgently need assurance of an equivalence agreement with the EU that is broader than the traditional arrangements and gives them much greater certainty.
In addition, businesses simply don’t have time or capacity to prepare for big changes in trading rules by the end of the year — especially given that we are already grappling with the upheaval caused by coronavirus. Securing deals that match the current arrangements as closely as possible is therefore even more essential to make those adjustments easier.
We are therefore calling on you to ensure full transparency over the substance of these negotiations and these deals, to enable proper scrutiny of the potential economic consequences_ If, despite the warnings from business and others; the Government pushes ahead with no-deal or a bad deal at tine end this year, it will create a further economic shock, cost people’s jobs, and be environmentally and socially irresponsible especially at this point when we need to be focused on recovering from the coronavirus crisis.