The Liberal Democrats have warned that Theresa May will struggle to secure agreement within her self-imposed two-year deadline for a deal.
Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister and now Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, has produced a dossier detailing 10 reasons why the Prime Minister will not secure a deal within the requisite two years once she triggers Article 50 – and 10 reasons why failure to secure a trade deal (and reverting to World Trade Organisation terms) would be a disaster.
Nick Clegg said: “The EU have said they won’t discuss a future trading relationship between the UK and EU until the terms of the ‘divorce’ are settled, and with both sides miles apart on that, Theresa May is risking taking us out of the world’s largest market without any idea whether new trading relationships will be in place.
“That would mean that UK exports would immediately be subject to tariffs. We would fall out of the single market and the customs union, and we would also lose free trade agreements with more than 50 countries.
“To trigger Article 50 knowing that any new deal will require agreement with 27 EU countries in a totally unrealistic timescale would be an act of recklessness of historic proportions.
“Theresa May has chosen the hardest and most divisive Brexit, to take us out of the single market before she has even tried to negotiate. The people should have the final say. Someone will have that say, so why not the people? They should have the option to remain in the EU. Only Liberal Democrats are fighting for a UK which is open, tolerant and united.”
You can read Nick's latest Brexit challenge paper online here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/deal-or-no-deal