Break free from EU red tape straitjacket, Brexit campaign urges Prime Minister

  • Move would boost UK economy by £135 billion
  • Regulatory alignment is ‘anti-Brexit’ option

Senior Leave campaigners have urged the Prime Minister to reject regulatory alignment, and resist attempts by the EU to turn the Joint Report into a legal text. 

The Leave Means Leave campaign have described  full regulatory alignment as an “anti-Brexit” move that could potentially  see Britain remain “shackled” to EU single market rules, and continuing payments to the Brussels budget.

In an intervention ahead of the summit, former Cabinet Ministers Rt Hon David Jones MP and Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, along with the campaign’s Co-Chairs John Longworth and Richard Tice, have called on the Government to ensure that at the summit, the Prime Minister works to secure a clean break from the EU and resists attempts to turn the agreed Joint Report into a legal text. They argue that if this were to happen, the UK’s  position in the next phase of negotiations would be severely compromised.

Leave Means Leave Board Member Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP said:

“The bar for any deal agreed with the EU is that it must be better than a global deal on WTO rules.

“If it fails to meet this bar, then WTO rules are the best option so that we can diverge from the EU’s regulation and really reap the benefits of Brexit.”

Leave Means Leave Board Member and former Brexit Minister Rt Hon David Jones MP said: 

“The Prime Minister broke the logjam in Brussels last week, but it is important that she should maintain her sensible position that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.  

“We must not concede anything now that puts us at a disadvantage in the next stage of negotiations. That means ensuring that the Joint Report remains a statement of sincere intent, but not a legal obligation that ties our hands.”

Leave Means Leave insist that the United Kingdom  must be able to deregulate, manage migration, capitalise on global free trade opportunities, abolish the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), repatriate fisheries, end the net £11 billion a year paid to the EU, and have a more competitive currency when it leaves the bloc in 2019.

While they accept  alignment of  regulatory outcomes should apply  to cross border trade between the UK and the EU, they say that everything else must be exempt in order for the UK to capitalise on the benefits of Brexit. Anything less would “fail to deliver on the democratic will of the British people”.

Leave Means Leave have estimated that the boost from adopting regulatory divergence will be £135 billion a year (New Model Economy for a Post-Brexit Britain) and that people at the bottom of the earnings league will be one of the biggest beneficiaries, gaining proportionately more than anyone else through a reduction in food prices and the restoration of national control over immigration from the EU.

The alternative of full regulatory alignment – adopting all EU regulations – would leave Britain far worse off and in danger of never truly leaving the EU.

Richard Tice and John Longworth, Co-Chairs of Leave Means Leave said:

“At the EU summit this week the Prime Minister must ensure that coming to a sensible technical arrangement on the issue of Ireland is placed at the forefront of discussions with the EU. This can, and must, be resolved with or without a free trade deal with the EU. A business-like approach to this should enable it to be resolved by March 2018, thus taking it off the critical path and reducing the emotion involved. 

“On the area of regulatory alignment, equivalence should only be applicable to cross border trade with the EU – everything else must be exempt. Anything less would fail to deliver on the democratic will of the British people and keep the UK shackled to the EU. It is the anti-Brexit option. 

“No money should be given to the EU unless the UK is satisfied with the trade deal negotiated.  
“The British Government must ensure that whatever is negotiated will not sacrifice our ability as a nation to deregulate our domestic economy, manage migration, abolish CAP and repatriate fisheries, end the net £11 billion a year paid to the EU and conclude free trade agreements with third countries and remove tariffs.

“For too long the EU, through its protectionist nature, has held Britain back. Now, at last, Brexit offers the prospect of new economic success for the UK.

“The timeframe for negotiations must be accelerated. We should have a trade deal in principle agreed by the end of March 2018, so that, if a deal is not reached, British businesses have a year to make preparations for trading under WTO rules.”