Ann Coffey

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Stockport Express Column May 2019

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29th May 2019

I recently met some Stockport business leaders who talked about their frustrations over the confusion and uncertainty around Brexit.

They represented a spread of businesses from services to manufacturing and they were all worried about the knock-on effect on local jobs, investment and business.

There have been three tortuous years of Brexit negotiations whilst Theresa May tried to get a deal with the EU that would not disadvantage the UK’s economy after we left. And still, there is no deal. And now she has resigned as Prime Minister and Boris Johnson, who said getting a deal from the EU, would be easy wants to take her place. He, of course, resigned as Foreign Secretary when the going got hard.

The next couple of months are going to be dominated by the contenders to be the next Prime Minister promising that they can sort the mess out. They can’t. Jeremy Corbyn has also promised what he can’t deliver.  The majority of MP’s are opposed to leaving without any trading arrangement in place with the EU because we know how damaging that will be and that the least well off will bear the greatest cost.

The only deal that is on offer is a deal that Theresa May couldn’t get support for. The EU have said they are not reopening negotiations.

A general election would solve nothing.

Confidence in the two main parties is at an all-time low so it is unlikely that either party would be returned with an overall majority. So I think we should withdraw our notice to quit, remain in the EU and reform and address the concerns that people have.

That would give local business the certainty they need and our children the future they deserve.