Published in Conservative Home, 09 October 2018
Theresa May “has been badly advised and seems unaware” of “a complete error of a very serious kind”, as Number Ten tries to pretend we are not staying in the European Economic Area during her Brexit plan… “We are in the EEA now, we are going to be in it for the 21 months, and it would make a reasonable pathway for the further 15 months, and we’re out of it all before a June 2022 general election.”
Elsewhere in the interview Lord Owen comments:
“A staged Brexit should be built into the Withdrawal Agreement, which is a very substantial document already, and deals with almost all the immediate issues that we would otherwise face coming out without an agreement. ….part of that agreement has a 21-month pause…(in that period) we are technically assumed to be still members of the EU, although we are not, but we are given a very good standstill period which goes beyond EEA, it deals with banks and it deals with almost everything.
“So I think we should keep to the Withdrawal Agreement, we should negotiate everything we can within the framework of the Withdrawal Agreement, and we should try to, in the Withdrawal Agreement, timetable everything on the basis of achieving Canada plus plus plus.
“I do not accept – and nor should the UK Government – that Canada plus plus will take eight, ten years, six years, and I think it’s a farce to contemplate such a timescale.”