Smith – Barnier was polite but direct and the White Paper is a dead letter - People's Vote

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Smith – Barnier was polite but direct and the White Paper is a dead letter

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has warned that the EU has very serious concerns about how the Government’s Brexit White Paper would work in practice.

Commenting, Owen Smith MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:

“Mrs May’s July of horrors just got a lot worse as the EU’s chief negotiator made it clear her white paper was a dead letter.

“Michel Barnier was very clear – he said her proposal for a ‘facilitated customs agreement’ increased the risk for fraud and added too much complexity. He was clear that Theresa May’s proposals do not meet the grade on food and product safety and so, however politely, ruled out her proposal for a single market in goods. He also said enhanced security co-operation is possible, but will depend upon the UK agreeing to abide by EU laws under the governance of the European Court of Justice.

“Barnier was polite, but he was direct. Mrs May’s White Paper split her Cabinet, divided Parliament and has satisfied nobody in Britain. It is now clear that Brussels isn’t buying it either.

“As Mrs May might say, nothing has changed. We are heading either for a bad deal or a disastrous no deal that nobody voted for. That’s why it is essential we have a People’s Vote at the end of the process.”