My preference has been to leave the EU with a deal, and I have been working hard for that outcome. However, if it is not possible to reach a deal that honours the result of the referendum, we should leave the EU on October 31 with a Clean Global Brexit.
I have had several constituents contact me about concerns raised about some specific issues in a no deal outcome and I thought it was important to address them one by one.
On the disruption of medicine supplies I am glad to hear that Ministers have had excellent engagement with industry and I have been assured that if everyone does what they are supposed to, the supply of medicines to the UK in the event of a no deal exit will be uninterrupted.
Following the change of EU exit date, the Department of Health and Social Care has written to all medicine suppliers asking that they continue preparations for all negotiation outcomes. I believe that this is important in order to minimise the risk of disruption. Work continues to ensure that medicines imported from the EU with a short shelf-live can be imported by air in a no deal scenario.
Regarding NHS workers, the Government has also been clear that it wants EU nationals currently working in the NHS to stay in this country after we leave the EU. After the country leaves the EU, the UK will set its own immigration policy, but the Department of Health and Social Care will ensure that there is sufficient staff to continue delivering high quality services.
In relation to food standards and prices, our food standards will not be reduced. Further, the end of the requirement to charge the EU common tariff internationally will help reduce prices for consumers. My view is that any future trade deal must work both for British farmers and consumers.
Regarding the health of the UK economy and jobs, the impact could be challenging in the short-term, but I am confident that the UK would thrive in the long-term. Forbes has ranked the UK has as the number one place to do business in the world for two consecutive years and a survey published by KPMG has found that CEOs in the United States, India, China and Japan are more likely to invest in the UK after the country leaves the EU.
It is also important to remember that during the referendum the remain campaign said there would be 800,000 job losses after the Brexit vote. In stark contrast to that dire prediction, 3 years after the referendum there have actually been 800,000 more jobs added to the British economy.
I will continue to do all I can to deliver a successful Brexit. I do not believe that it is in anyone’s interest to delay further. This will simply increase uncertainty for residents and businesses alike.