Danny Kruger’s reply is very welcome. In it there’s good news and bad news; there are opinions on which we may have to agree to differ; and there are two fundamental factual errors.
First: the good news – the very good news, in fact. Mr Kruger recognises that “right now we all need to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.” And he goes on: “the NHS has handled this crisis admirably” but he does not add (as well he might) how challenging this was given the woeful lack of government effort to make available on time all the resource required.
Next: the fundamental factual errors. Error number one: it is incorrect to say, as Mr Kruger does, that “we have a few months before we need to propose an extension to the transition period.” That is wrong. Either the UK or the EU may ask for an extension but it must do so before the end of June. So: not “a few months” but just over two weeks.
Error number two: “much of the detail on the future partnership negotiations has already been agreed in the Political Declaration.” Not so, Mr Kruger. The negotiations currently in train are about detail. They deal concretely with the actual, daily relationship the UK wants to have with the EU. The Political Declaration was about intention not about detail. Surely the title gives it away?
The bad news – the really bad news – is that Mr Kruger accepts the risk of a no deal outcome yet is wholly unprepared to work to avoid it. Farmers and businesses in the Devizes constituency will be appalled. How can their parliamentary representative be so lackadaisical?
Then there are the opinions on which we differ. Mr Kruger believes that extending the negotiating period would cause the country political damage. We would say that the country has already been politically damaged by a government manifestly incompetent in meeting the challenges confronting it. Mr Kruger also suggests that an extension would exacerbate the economic damage of coronavirus. We think that, on the contrary, it would ameliorate it. More important: so does the CBI and so do a host of business groups.
Most discouraging of all is the fact that Mr Kruger’s reply is intellectually incoherent and politically inconsequential. “We all need to focus on the coronavirus pandemic,” he says, and yet “my instinct is that we should push ahead with negotiating the new trade deal we and the EU both want.” This makes no sense. Focusing on one thing whilst doing another is a recipe for double failure.The stuttering negotiations with Brussels is a brutal warning. One crisis at a time, Mr Kruger.
So what does Mr Kruger really want? Is he just a supporter of the status quo, come what may? Is he content to see the UK slither down any league table you care to think of, a ‘representative’ of a constituency in a country increasingly bereft of meaningful political accountability? Surely we – his constituents – deserve better?
Stephen Stacey, Devizes for EU blogger
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1) Sign the extension petition here: it has reached the required 100,000 to be considered for debate. Keep it up and share widely!
2) Ask those who will be badly hit to write to the MP to explain how they would be affected by a no-deal. Our One Crisis at a Time website will help you with ready made references and sample letters. Share with:
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~~~~ Email from Danny Kruger MP, (bold highlights inserted by editor) ~~~~
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Renelec House, 46 New Park Street, Devizes, SN10 1DT
e: email@example.com | t: 020 7219 7050
11 June 2020
Thank you for your email about the Brexit transition period.
I agree with you that right now we all need to focus on the coronavirus pandemic. We have a few months before we need to propose an extension to the transition period, and we should use this to see how the pandemic unfolds, and how our economy looks at that time. My instinct is that we should push ahead with negotiating the new trade deal we and the EU both want.
The NHS has handled this crisis admirably and by taking the Government’s advice, the people of the UK ensured the NHS was able to cope with the peak of Covid19 as well as protecting our frontline workers.
Further delay will do political damage to our country, and exacerbate the economic damage of coronavirus. We saw from the burst of investment and business confidence that followed the General Election in December 2019 how the resolution of uncertainty over Brexit is a powerful stimulus to prosperity.
Much of the detail on the future partnership negotiations has already been agreed in the Political Declaration. The UK and the EU share closely aligned interests and I am confident that the determination and willingness of the Parties to reach a free trade agreement will ensure that the matter is brought to a conclusion by the end of 2020, as legally committed to in good faith by both parties as part of the implementation period. Neither is working towards a no deal scenario although both are prepared for every eventuality.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
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