Conference Season Episode Two: The Tories
The Tory party has the biggest peacetime challenge of any government in history – negotiating the UK out of the Eu. Anyone who thinks this is straight forward and that we can simply walk away has no concept of the scale of the challenge.
Getting this right is crucial! So, it is perhaps not surprising that the negotiations are not being replayed on the conference platform…
The point of BREXIT control of borders (immigration) the control of laws (no more Eu Court of Human Rights etc.) control of trading partners (restricted through Eu single market rules…) and the slightly nebulous concept of “sovereignty” which IMHO we’d effectively already got…may come at a price. That price being a restriction on free trade with the Eu.
Aside co-operation on security (which is almost a given) the only thing the UK really, really wants from the Eu now is unfettered access to the European single market – but without its inherent constraints on our free trade with countries outside that market. I do wonder however: if the Eu gives it to us what is the point of continuing Eu membership for everyone else? Why would they give us such access? In fact the Eu has a vested interest in making it is hard as possible for the UK post BREXIT. It is said that our lever is the fact that the UK buys lots of stuff from the Eu, and in fact we do buy more from them than we sell to them – but is that enough?
Given the challenge of BREXIT it does make one wonder what the Tories will find to talk about – except for the fact that their membership has tipped squarely towards the older generation and they seem to have all but lost the youth vote…
Simon will discuss all of this & more from 1pm this Friday on Channel Radio.