The Chequers plan is a bad deal – we need to start planning seriously for no deal

The Chequers plan is a bad deal – we need to start planning seriously for no deal

After seeing the Chequers proposal, I made it known that I had written to Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, expressing my concerns and that I no longer had confidence in the Prime Minister’s strategy to deliver the Brexit promised to us.

We have seen a number of colleagues resign this week, including two Secretaries of State, and the feeling of betrayal is growing on the backbenches. As colleagues return to their constituencies this weekend and meet with their associations and constituents face to face, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a few more of my colleagues resigned from their positions in protest.

With the Government’s slim majority, Theresa May is now in the difficult situation of potentially relying on the Labour Party to get a deal through. However, it is very unlikely that the White Paper in its current form will be the deal put to the House of Commons. No doubt the European Union will have some concerns with aspects of the proposal; in fact, there are already voices coming from Brussels that they are not happy. Therefore, we can expect the White Paper to be watered down further and additional compromises made.

It looks like the Government are now gambling that the House of Commons will accept a bad deal over a no deal and that they will try and pass the final deal by relying on “socialist votes”, as my colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg has said this week. This is truly a sad state of affairs and it is my guess that the Government will fail to pass the final deal, resulting in a no deal.

It is possible that in only eight months’ time the UK and the EU will not have agreed on terms and this could potentially mean going to World Trade Organisation rules. The previous government did not prepare for our decision to Leave at the referendum and it would be irresponsible if Theresa May’s Government were not preparing to the best of its abilities for a no deal scenario.

Being fully prepared is not only the sensible option, it will have the added benefit of showing Brussels that we are taking seriously the possibility of walking away. I would, therefore, like to see every government department giving regular public updates demonstrating their preparation for a no-deal Brexit. This should have started the day after the referendum result and if it had, I believe we would have been in a much better position than we are now. We now have no time to waste.

It is a shame that some of my colleagues in the House of Commons can’t concede that the country voted to Leave and want to keep us tied indefinitely to the EU. The rewards and opportunities open to us after we escape the Customs Union and the Single Market are immense. We desperately need to achieve the right kind of Brexit to make our dream of a UK free from the interference of the ECJ and able to forge our own path as a truly global Britain a reality.

I believe the deal currently in front of us is a bad deal and I am confident that more of my colleagues will come to realise this. The odds of us leaving the EU with no deal are steadily increasing and we now need to start planning seriously for a no-deal Brexit.