John Longworth, from Leave Means Leave, said the UK should become a beacon for free trade after shaking of Brussels bureaucracy, as he argued Britain would not need a transition period if the Cabinet give key industries time to prepare ahead of leaving the bloc.
Speaking to Sky News, the leading Brexit campaigner, who quit as director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce after being suspended for publicly recommending leaving the European Union, added that trade protectionism should be avoided at all costs.
Mr Longworth said: “I agree, and that [trade protectionism] is the thing we should attempt to avoid at all costs.
“In fact, the UK should be a beacon for free trade and I would hope when we Brexit and we have all the crystallisation of the benefits of coming out of the European Union, including repatriation of the contribution, including deregulation… that we will also actually also remove tariffs.
“In fact, we should aim over a period, probably a short period to unilaterally remove tariffs which will boost the UK economy very substantially and if the economy is boosted than all manufacturers in the UK will benefit.”
Mr Longworth, who said he quit as boss of the BCC network of businesses in March to be free to campaign for Brexit, also defended Theresa May’s decision to withhold information about the EU-exit negotiations, as any good negotiator would ahead of brokering a deal.
He said: “I think it is right that the Government keep secret the detailed negotiating position because you wouldn’t go into a commercial negotiation having revealed to the other side what your red lines are.”
However, he added if the Prime Minister did give industry a hint of whether or not the UK would remain in the customs union and single market, it would give business time to prepare.
Mr Longworth said such a move would eliminate the need for a transition period.
The Brexit campaigner continued: “But I also think it would be very helpful in fact to those negotiations if early on in the process the Government were signalling that our objective is in fact a free trade arrangement and that at some point during the negotiations they give industry sufficient time to adjust to the fact that we will be leaving the customs union and the single market.
“We don’t need a transition period after Brexit, we actually need a transition period running up to Brexit.”
The Leave Means Leave co-chairman’s call for Mrs May to take the UK out of the bloc’s control completely comes after James McGrory, of Open Britain, issued a plea for the PM to not abandon the single market.
Speaking to Bloomberg, the Europhile warned against a hard Brexit as he claimed leaving the EU would hit government spending on public services and infrastructure.
Mr McGrory, who played a leading role in the official Remain campaign, also suggested the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecast that Brexit would cost Britain £58.7bn in just five years should stand as a warning against leaving the single market.
The ‘hard’ Brexit warning followed the Chancellor’s announcement last week that “Brexit package” of £23billion had been granted to prime the UK for a prosperous future outside the EU.
November 30th, Express