It appears that not only has the Government set out a clear plan for a no deal Brexit that it has been working on for 2 years as indicated in this speech by Martin Callanan made in the House of Lords on 25th October but Tory Brexit supporting backbench MPs are now getting very cross with businesses that have failed to plan for such an eventuality. The irony of course being that when these same people promoted the idea of voting to leave, that they made it very clear we would leave with a very good deal. Indeed even back in August so less than three months ago as this report explains Priti Patel an ex Minister wrote on the Telegraph Blog that ‘the UK was in a “strong position” when it came to a future trade deal [with the EU] because “we are dynamic, competitive and growing” – while the EU “desperately needs our money”‘ and although this came at the time when Liam Fox stated that he thought we were facing a 60:40 prospect of a No Deal, that the Prime Ministers office ‘insists the government remains confident it can get a good deal’.
The criticism of businesses for failing to prepare for a no deal Brexit came at the same time as Martin’s speech from two highly reactionary MPs, Peter Bone and Christopher Chope who both act in a totally unaccountable manner as MPs. As this report explains they chose to use their Parliamentary privilege to challenge two individual businesses based in Northern Ireland for not having sufficient plans in place, but they used phrases that would apply to most businesses even though many would not be listening on the day as businesses rarely get addressed by Parliamentarians. “Nobody’s ever given any guarantee that there would be a deal,” Mr Chope said. “Why is it that none of you seem to have been making any contingency plans for no-deal?” and Mr Bone added: “You’ve known we’ve been coming out of the EU since June 2016 and now you’re just waking up with five minutes to go that there might not be a deal. You’ve not done a pretty good job have you?”
Let us hope that if we leave, that we do get a good deal as Priti Patel and the Prime Minister suggested in August and as people like Liam Fox and David Davis along with the idiotic Bone and Chope did back in mid 2016. If we do leave without a deal, irrespective of how businesses respond, it will be fascinating to see how accurate Martin Callanan is in his speech made a couple of weeks ago. In case he wants to be challenged perhaps this debate set out by Tom Tugendhat will make it clear that some other members of his party were not aware of the planning.