Lord Daniel Hanaan has admitted the UK should have stayed in the EU single market after Brexit and we have suffered as a result of leaving.
It comes as problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol stem from the relative “weakness” of the UK’s position in the Brexit talks with the EU, Boris Johnson’s former chief negotiator has said.
Lord Frost, the ex-Brexit minister who negotiated the Withdrawal Agreement, said the arrangements for Northern Ireland would only have worked if the EU’s regulatory framework had not been fully applied.
Hanaan single market
The former Tory MEP who was one of the founders of the Vote Leave Campaign, has told the Telegraph it would have saved “a lot of trouble”.
Regardless of his admission, he said that going back now would be “madness”.
“Staying in the single market, or large parts of it, would have saved us a lot of trouble,” he said.
“Had we declared, immediately after the 2016 vote, that we intended to return to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – the body we founded in 1960 as an alternative to the EEC – we would not have been at risk of an EU trade embargo. The withdrawal issues, notably the management of the Irish border, would have been much more easily resolved.”
He told the newspaper he would have preferred a “Swiss-type accommodation,” but in 2015 before the Brexit vote he claimed no one had been talking about leaving the single market, and as the process went on a culture war began and peoples’ position hardened, eventually leading to the situation we are in now..
Concluding, Hanann said: “Brexit could have created a freer, more prosperous and more global Britain. Instead, we are pursuing semi-socialist economic policies, which poll well in the short-term, but condemn us to long-term poverty.”