The likelihood of Britain leaving the EU without a deal on October 31 has become increasingly likely, owing to Boris Johnson’s “do or die” Brexit stance. But Liam Halligan has warned Remain-backing MPs are determined to prevent a no deal outcome, and even go as far as stopping Brexit altogether. The British economist also went on to reveal “Britain’s key to Brexit” – something often dismissed by Brexiteers.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Halligan said: “The problem with no deal, then, isn’t that the policy would be a disaster – because it wouldn’t.
“The problem is a Remain-stacked Parliament determined to stand in the way.
“Countless MPs opposed May’s deal and now oppose no deal because they want to block Brexit.
“Far from ‘democracy’, they’re engaged in democratic sabotage.”
He went on to say a further Brexit delay would cause “enormous economic and political damage”, causing Britain to plunge into “even more serious uncertainty, culture wars and diplomatic chaos”.
But Mr Halligan did suggest there could be a “key” to Britain’s Brexit impasse, by leaving the EU on October 31 but staying temporarily in the European Economic Area (EEA) – the Norway way.
He said this option could be viable if the withdrawal agreement is rejected and a no deal Brexit is blocked.
If the UK were to leave in this way, he said it would mean: “Britain takes back immediate control of agriculture and fishing, but tariff-free trade continues.
“We could negotiate non-EU trade deals and huge annual payments to Brussels.
“Freedom of movement remains but, crucially, the UK can leave the EEA when it wants, by giving 12 months’ notice, in stark contrast to the withdrawal agreement.
“The idea of using the EEA to smooth our EU departure, ahead of cutting a free-trade agreement – an approached dubbed ‘Norway then Canada’ – is often dismissed by Brexiteers who think it’s a trap.
“Would they trust Johnson to use EEA only as a staging post? If so, it may end up being Britain’s key to Brexit.”