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Senior British MEP says: “EU and UK need to seek a bespoke deal that works in everyone’s best interests”

Britain’s new relationship with the EU needs to be an ambitious opportunity to strengthen the United Kingdom and secure our place in the world, said Vicky Ford MEP and Chairman of the European Parliament’s Single Market Committee.

Speaking at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) Autumn Lecture in Edinburgh last night (7 December) to an audience working across a range of financial services in Europe and globally, Mrs Ford outlined a number of key issues:

The UK needs a unique trading relationship with the EU - current solutions such as the Canadian, Norwegian, or Swiss models are not appropriate.

We should aim for a regulatory relationship with the EU, which focuses on sectors where there is a need for cross border co-operation and consensus.

There can only be one deal with the EU; Scotland or other parts of the UK cannot be treated differently to the rest.

Mrs Ford said at the event,

“We have to bring the country back together behind a long term vision for the UK's future relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.

“To do this we need a bespoke trading relationship with the EU, there is no off the shelf solution available. The UK's economy is too diverse and its trading links with the EU too sophisticated for us to use the EU's relationship with Norway, Switzerland or Canada as a model. A cut and paste of the Canada Model does not meet the needs of 21st Century industry sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, digital and medical research.

“Our future relationship with the EU needs to focus on areas of cross border co-operation and consensus. This is not a case of having our cake and eating it, but a pragmatic approach to both our economic interests.

“Achieving a deal which works for the UK and the EU will be very challenging. But this is no time for feint hearts. We have a strong hand to play and must enter the negotiations with ambition, determination and confidence.

“We all, the UK and the EU, need to keep calm and focus on the task in hand.”


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