The European Council is likely to demonstrate zero to minimal progress has been made on delivering a workable Brexit deal.
Commenting, Lord (Peter) Mandelson, former First Secretary of State and European Trade Commissioner and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“This week’s European Council is only 274 days before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU but we do not even have an outline political agreement of what our future relationship with the EU will be.
“This matters. Without a stable, cast-iron deal that maintains our links with our biggest export market, we will face border taxes and customs barriers that will drive a stake through our competitiveness. As Airbus, BMW, the Japanese car companies and many thousands in their supply chains are now saying, without continued frictionless supply chains they will have no option but to transfer production over time to the Continent.
“These companies will take with them the jobs and livelihoods of people who believed the promises of leave campaigners and ministers that Brexit would deliver the ‘exact same benefits’ in trade as we have now, with no costs for leaving, and trade deals easily made.
“The great Brexit delusion is slowly sinking in. By insisting at the outset that Britain should leave not just the EU but its economic structures – its Customs Union and Single Market – as well, the Government is driving headlong towards a hard Brexit whatever their claims about seeking a good deal.
“A political standoff can only be resolved in one way – by giving the public the power to determine Britain’s destiny. Had it not been for the Government’s chaotic handling of Brexit, no one would be contemplating another public vote. But democracy did not start, nor did it end on 23 June 2016. Despite the Government’s best attempts to present Brexit as an irreversible process, we can change direction if we wish.”