Minister of State, David Jones managed to cram in at least seven Brexit buzz phrases, highlighted in bold below, in a written reply on 1 December to a recent Parliamentary question about whether the Government would ensure that transitional arrangements are in place before the UK leaves the European Union.
As the Prime Minister has said, we want to avoid a cliff-edge and to provide certainty where we can. We want a smooth and orderly exit from the EU. How we achieve that will depend on the nature of the agreement we reach with the EU.
We will also convert the body of existing EU law into domestic law and Parliament will be free to amend, repeal and improve any law it chooses. This process will give businesses and workers maximum certainty as we leave the European Union. We are not going to give a running commentary on every twist and turn of these upcoming negotiations: it is not in our national interest and will not help us get the best deal for Britain.
Given that the legal proceedings about the mechanism of triggering leaving the EU are being heard by the Supreme Court today and throughout this week – the Court has set up a dedicated online hub that provides access to the hearings and the written arguments – it is probably not very surprising that Government is giving nothing away for the time being and is sticking to Brexit buzzwords.
But with the Supreme Court’s decision expected by February, the Government is going to have to show its hand shortly after that if its goal of triggering Article 50 by March or April next year is to be achieved.
It should be hoped by that stage that last week’s Ministerial platitudes about avoiding a cliff-edge and providing businesses with certainty, have been translated into reasonably clear proposals about critical transitional arrangements that UK businesses generally, and its financial services sector in particular, seek as they make plans for mitigating the risks and challenges of the process of leaving the EU.
Written by Alistair Kinley, director of policy and government affairs