Politicians and business figures who are pro-Brexit have called on Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, to make some preparation to walk away from the European Union without a trade agreement, despite the repeated warnings from some major manufacturers that a “no deal” Brexit would result to an economic disaster.
In an open letter, 60 economists, business chiefs, and lawmakers slammed the European Union of being “intransigent” in the divorce discussions. They said that the United Kingdom should threaten to withhold the 39 billion pound ($52 billion) divorce bill that it has already agreed to pay.
The letter was released on Sunday by the Economists for Free Trade. It was signed by some prominent supporters of a “hard Brexit,” which includes Conservative lawmakers Peter Bone and John Redwood, Tim Martin, the chairman of the Wetherspoons pub chain, and ex-U.K. Treasury chief Nigel Lawson.
They called on the authorities in the United Kingdom “to accelerate their preparations for ‘no deal’ and a move to a World Trade Deal under WTO rules.”
The call would mean that tariffs and the other trade barriers between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Many businesses say that it would severely affect the economy of the United Kingdom. Recently, Siemens, BMW, and Airbus have all released a warning that leaving the European Union without a free-trade deal would negatively affect the businesses in the United Kingdom and result to job loses. Airbus alone employs almost 14,000 workers in the United Kingdom.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said that the warnings from businesses were “inappropriate.” He said that it undermined the chances of being able to achieve a “clean Brexit.”
He said to the BBC: “The more that we undermine Theresa May, the more likely we are to end up with ‘a fudge,’ which would be an absolute disaster for everyone.”
The Conservative government of May is divided between Brexit-supporting ministers who are calling for a clean break so that the United Kingdom will be able to strike new trade deals across the globe, and those who wish to stay closely aligned to the European Union, the biggest trading partner pf Britain.
Hunt call on the people to unite behind the prime minister, saying that she would mix “cautious pragmatism” with a drive to fulfil the decision of the voters to leave the European Union.
However, last Saturday, tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters marched in London to call for a new referendum on withdrawing from the European Union as the United Kingdom marked the second anniversary of its 2016 vote to withdrawing from the bloc.
Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, said to the audience: “Brexit is not a done deal. Brexit is not inevitable. Brexit can be stopped.”.