160904 Commons debating chamber

As the author of this article himself put it on Twitter: “How will Tory MPs who disagree with May react to her choosing the hardest Brexit option without a Parliamentary vote?”

The cabinet away day in Chequers has perhaps shed a little light on what kind of Brexit deal the government intends to seek. Faced with the unpalatable choice between aiming for full access to the single market (at the price of accepting its rules, including free movement) or leaving it entirely (at the cost of Britain facing tariffs and regulatory barriers to its main export market), it seems to have chosen the latter.

This ‘hard’ version of Brexi would mean a significant economic cost to Britain as we lose market share in Europe, and therefore revenue and jobs. We would also lose market share elsewhere, as we cease to be part of the EU’s trade agreements with countries across the world, which will take years to replace.

But the Tories would apparently rather have this than accept free movement, even though free movement is reciprocal, with nearly as many Brits in the rest of Europe as other Europeans here — and even though the bulk of migrants in Britain have come from outside the EU, entirely under our own rules. Indeed, blaming the EU is really scapegoating for May’s failure as home secretary to reach anything like her own target for reducing immigration.

In short, they prefer taking a massive economic hit in order to assuage an unjustified fear that they themselves stoked up.

Source: Do pro-European Tories have any courage? – Richard Corbett

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