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Here is the Hard Brexiteers’ plan to scrap Theresa May’s Chequers deal



IEA launch
IEA launch

  • Senior Brexit supporting politicians helped launch an
    Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) report, called ‘Plan
  • David Davis, Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart all
    publicly supported the report, which called for the UK to
    diverge from EU regulations and lower tariffs.
  • However, the plan was criticised by trade experts, who
    labelled it “not thought through”.

  • Plan A+ is seen by many as the most
    coherent plan put forward by anti-Chequers Brexiteers so

LONDON – Hard Brexiteers launched an alternate Brexit strategy on
Monday as Theresa May’s own Brexit plan continues to falter.

The so-called “Plan A+”, a discussion paper by IEA staffers
Shanker Singham and Radomir Tylecote, was launched on Monday at
the Gladstone Library, alongside a supportive panel including
David Davis and Jacob Rees Mogg.

Singham described the report as a precursor to an independent
trade deal, and hit out at Theresa May’s own Chequers proposals
as a “small damage-limitation exercise.”

Singham, who
in May revealed to be a close ally of Liam Fox and
Steve Baker, was in attendance. The economist described the Irish
border as a diplomatic problem and outlined plans he
believed to be as “simple as a tax return” regarding customs
divergence between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Five things you need to know about Plan A+

IEA launch
Director Mark Littlewood addressing their report


Here are the 5 main points from the proposals:

1. The IEA says the UK should stick to the agreements already
made with the EU on the £39 billion divorce bill, EU citizens,
and the transition period.

2. But it says there should be a new backstop for Ireland which
involves new laws. It says Northern Ireland should be treated
differently to the rest of the UK to avoid a hard border,
retaining all EU agricultural health checks, and proposes checks
for other products, such as medicines, should be carried out away
from the Northern Ireland-Ireland border. Experts suggested the
proposals would not altogether remove the need for a border,

3. On trade, the report recommends scrapping the “common
rulebook” for goods proposed in May’s Chequers blueprint. It says
such a scheme would make it “all but impossible” to do trade
deals with non-EU countries. 

4. On trade, the IEA called for the elimination of tariffs and
quotas on all the products the UK doesn’t produce. It says
membership of the EU has hampered economic growth in Britain as
it “prevents the UK from entering into its own free trade
agreements with countries outside the EU.”

5. The report’s authors insist they are not calling to scrap
regulation but instead seek to make it better. “The issue on
regulation is ‘who decides?'” said David Davis at the event
launch. “Under Chequers it’s the EU, under ‘free trade plus’ it’s
us that decides.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg

The response

Whilst high profile Brexiteers like David Davis and Boris Johnson
endorsed the report, Plan A+ provoked heavy skepticism from
trade experts. Sam Lowe of the Centre for European Reform tweeted
that the report “has
not been thought through”,
 and that their response to EU
non-cooperation was counter-intuitive to the vision of the

David Henig, the UK Director of the European Centre for
International Political Economy, said that the core of the
project was pushing adopting US food standards, and that Plan A+
does not adequately explain why the UK should diverge from EU
regulation despite their widespread use. Henig also argues that
the report does not establish how damaging it would be for the UK
to diverge. 

The proposals follow
a Business Insider report
last week which revealed Liam Fox’s
Department for International Trade was considering plans to scrap
EU food standards in order to pursue trade deals with the US and
other non-EU countries.

The thinking behind Plan A+

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Conservative MP Jacob

Reuters / Simon

Alongside Singham was former Labour MP Gisela Stuart, and current
Conservative MPs David Davis, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Theresa

Stuart, who was MP for Birmingham Edgbaston until last year, said
that a highlight of the report was Shanker and Tylecote’s
strategic approach around the timing of Brexit.

Stuart said that in her experience in dealing with Barnier,
everything always happens in the last 48 or 36 hours of the
negotiation. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis echoed this
sentiment, saying that the UK had not taken advantage of timings
so far. 

Davis said that if Plan A+ was the White Paper, he would still be
in Government, and said that a free trade agreement was the best
way forward for Theresa May.

Rees-Mogg said the plan was easily deliverable and claimed that
the European Research Group — which he chairs — solved issues of
the Irish border last week. 

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