There have been a great many labels attached to Brexit in the 13 months since the country voted to leave the European Union.
Politicians on both sides of the debate have spent much time discussing the various merits and pitfalls of a soft and hard Brexit, and only last week the Environment Secretary Michael
Gove gave a keynote speech entitled ‘Delivering a Green Brexit.’
Now the Chancellor Philip Hammond has said that he initially wants a transitional “off-the-shelf” deal with Brussels that would maintain the UK’s current trading relationship with the EU until a bespoke arrangement can be agreed.
Mr Hammond has at least come out and stipulated that any transitional deal must come to an end by June 2022, before the next general election.
He has also attempted to allay people’s fears by saying there must be ‘business as normal’.
Nobody is expecting a running commentary on the negotiations, however we do need clarity and consistency from Ministers on this issue because up until now there has been too much obfuscation regarding the whole Brexit process.
The clock is ticking as the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier pointed out in response to Boris Johnson’s recent, and unnecessary, remarks that the EU could ‘go whistle’ over its financial demands.
In the meantime, imprecise terms like soft Brexit and hard Brexit merely detract from the serious business at hand.
We don’t need a ‘designer’ Brexit or a well-tailored ‘bespoke’ Brexit. What is required is a deal that works best for Yorkshire and Britain. That’s the overriding priority.