Just seven weeks after we left the Single Market and the Customs Union, we are already seeing the damaging effects of Brexit on British jobs and businesses. Try as they might, the government can no longer pretend that these are “teething problems”. This is the stark reality of the hard Brexit they have inflicted on the UK.
Towards the end of January, I met with hundreds of European Movement members to discuss how we can address risks of greater divergence, and take advantage of the opportunities to build a closer relationship. You can watch a recording of the event on the European Movement website here.
Whether it is fishermen unable to sell to the EU market or added costs driving many small businesses to the wall: the UK is paying the price for this government’s ideological obsession.
Facing trade disruption between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson is even threatening to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol - an agreement he signed only last year. This reckless act of brinkmanship risks more than just trade, Northern Irish politicians have made it clear that the Government is risking the precious peace process. It is just the latest example of this government playing fast and loose with the UK’s international commitments.
The current moment clearly carries risks of further divergence and discord, but it is also an opportunity for the UK to take a different path. A closer relationship with the EU is possible, but it is up to us to build it.
European Movement members up and down the UK are at the heart of our project to rebuild our relationship with Europe, brick by brick. Become a member of the European Movement today.