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Guest Column by Harriett Baldwin MP


22nd October 2017

Autumn is here, and we are grateful for what has been a great summer for crops of all kinds. Our famous plums, asparagus, apples and hops are travelling across the globe to willing buyers.

Just as there is a cycle in nature, there’s a cycle in negotiations. I have no doubt that the Brexit negotiations are about to enter what commentators call ‘the crunch’. The UK want to get on to discussing the issues around free trade; the Commission want to put maximum pressure to ensure we pay as much as possible into the EU budget.

In any negotiation, you need to be well prepared, to know what your red lines are, where the areas of win-win are, and most importantly what your walk-away position is. That is why you hear the media coverage, at the moment, of preparation on there being no deal.

Theresa May set out a very sensible compromise position in her Florence speech. We have offered security to citizens, a budget contribution, asked for a transition and to move on to discussions on free trade. The EU needs budget contributions and to seems to want to set an example of the UK to deter any other countries from leaving.

What we must all realise is that real people, real businesses and real farmers in all 28 countries will be affected if there is intransigence from the EU on free trade discussions.

While negotiations continue to secure a strong exit from the Union, I continue to support companies preparing themselves for a new future. QinetiQ in Malvern has gone from strength to strength, recently announcing 100 new jobs expanding its cyber business and looking beyond traditional markets like the Ministry of Defence for new sales opportunities.

The process of leaving the EU will continue over the coming months. The Repeal Bill is now before Parliament to transfer EU law back to our own UK law but the absolute priority must be to minimise disruption to business and individuals as we look for a new and prosperous future trading with the whole of the world.



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Harriett Baldwin
 
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