Supporters of Britain’s exit from the European Union wrote to business groups in the 27 other nations in the bloc urging them to push their governments for a “sensible agreement” for trade after Brexit to avoid disrupting trade.
“Many EU member states export significant amounts of goods to the U.K. and the erection of barriers to this trade by the European Commission will have a detrimental effect on jobs and prosperity in a number of EU states, some where unemployment is already unacceptably high,” Richard Tice and John Longworth, co-chairmen of the Leave Means Leave pressure group, said in the letter. “It is therefore in all of our interests that trade is not interrupted and that the EU and U.K. secure a trade deal that has close to zero tariffs as is possible.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she intends to formally trigger two years of Brexit negotiations by the end of March, but has yet to explicitly rule in or out whether that means a departure from the single market and customs union. That leaves open the prospect of tariffs being imposed on goods and services flowing between Britain and the bloc.
The letter was dispatched “a few days ago” and Leave Means Leave doesn’t expect replies until the new year, Longworth said in a BBC radio interview on Wednesday. He said Britain should leave both the EU’s single market and its customs union in order to gain control over immigration and escape the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
“I know that the Danes, the Dutch, the Irish and some German companies are very concerned,” Longworth said. “For those countries, for those business communities, the U.K. is top of their agenda in terms of export markets, so it’s very important for those countries to get access to the U.K.”
By Alex Morales