Lib Dem MP: Bill to block Brexit delay ‘utterly reckless’

MPs will vote on the Brexit Bill on Friday

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Newly elected Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper has criticised Boris Johnson’s plan to legally block any further Brexit delay as “utterly wreckless”.

The Prime Minister has reworked his Withdrawal Agreement Bill to include legislation that will prevent MPs from extending the transition period beyond December 2020.

But Ms Cooper said there is “absolutely no way” the UK could negotiate credible trade deals in just 12 months.

“Johnson’s announcement this morning just shows us how far he has capitulated to Nigel Farage’s vision of Brexit,” she told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham.

This is the first time Ms Cooper (right) has been elected to Parliament

The MP for St Albans continued: “It’s utterly, utterly reckless to say that he’s going to prohibit any kind of extension beyond this December.

“Voters will know that we’ve got 40 trade agreements that cover trading with 70 different countries.

"There’s absolutely no way you could renegotiate all those in the next 12 months - it could probably take a decade just to deal with the EU.”

Mr Johnson has vowed to work “flat out” to deliver the government’s priorities, telling ministers in the first Cabinet meeting since last week's election victory;  “You ain't seen nothing yet, folks.”

But figures from the EU, including chief negotiator Michel Barnier, have expressed scepticism that a deal can be agreed in time, increasing chances a no-deal break.

Ms Cooper echoed those views, saying that Brexit is “one of the most significant acts of economic self-harm this country has ever committed on its own”.

“If we pursue a deal in the next 11 months, it will be one of two outcomes – either the deal won’t be worth the paper that it’s written on, or if he can’t get a deal at all, end up crashing out in 12 months’ time.”

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