UK Brexit team is no sitting duck

So everyone sets out their red lines in negotiations until someone breaches them. ’Twas always thus. 

In political terms, August has always been an issue-free zone as MPs top up their tan and civil servants do the same. Now, though, it’s different, with our exit date fixed for 2019, subject to transitional arrangements or not, depending on where this will all end up.

Seeing the chief UK negotiator David Davis interviewed by Andrew Marr on TV recently tells us a few things. Firstly, the EU and Labour accusation that the UK is not being serious about negotiations is plainly wrong. Why put yourself up for an interview with the pro-EU BBC in holiday time when you could have said no? Secondly, Marr tried every trick in the book to make Davis bite… and he didn’t. This tells us Davis is no mug, as EU negotiator Michel Barnier is slowly finding out. Thirdly, the UK position papers clearly rattled the EU team in their comprehensiveness as they tried to brush over them, while the UK team insisted on a line-by-line analysis. The so-called useless UK team had clearly done their homework. So where does that leave us?

My guess for our industry is we will end up with same trading rules with the EU as we have now as they have more to lose than us. There’s a long way to go and I will probably be proved wrong, but nobody knows. I’ve eaten a fair bit of humble pie over the years, so I’m well ready for some more if needs must.

About the Author:

Norman Bagley

norman bagley Norman Bagley runs the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), which represents medium and small independent businesses in the slaughtering and further processing sector.

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