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Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 13 April 2017


On 29th March 2017 the letter requesting out of the EU was despatched by the PM and on 28th March 2019 the UK will be leaving the European Union.  44 years of our membership about to come to an end. The majority voted to leave and leave we must and leave we will. There is no going back. If Parliament starts to shilly-shally on this, there would be deep and substantial constitutional fall-out. We have no choice.

The basis on which we intend to leave and the future relationship we seek was set out by the PM in January and now incorporated into a government white paper. There is now so much to discuss and resolve with our 27 partners and negotiations will begin in earnest shortlyThe big issues arehow we tackle EU immigration from 2019 onwards and how our companies can sell their goods and services into EU countries. 

Because the negotiations will be complex and detailed, and because the British government is not going to give a running commentary on them, we are now entering a period of confusion where there will be little clarity. Perhaps 6 to 12 months of muddle. There will be endless leaks and speculation. My advice is to ignore most of it. The framework of a deal is unlikely to start to come together until late this year or, more probably, early in 2018. 

In the meantime at Westminster we have to slog round the clock putting in place a body of law that works for every sector of society and does not leave jurisprudential black holes. We will spend 12 months incorporating all EU law in minute detail an into UK law and then the following year going through it line by line deleting what we do not want. 

I meet people who say that we should not bother with negotiation but just come out. Just like that. It is rather like a surgeon amputating a leg, not bothering what to do about blood vessels and ligaments, just reaching for the cleaver. There is so much to resolve about how our future dealings with the continent of Europe will work.

I am confident it will be done. A deal will be reached. But listen out for two words: transitional arrangements (orpossibly: implementation stage, but it means the same thing).We will leave in 2019 but it will take many years for the decoupling to be completed.

Gary Streeter
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posted by Gary @ 08:45