Tory eurosceptics push for early Brexit

Posted On: 
1st October 2016

Britain should leave the EU well before the end of the two-year countdown triggered by Article 50, Conservative former ministers have said.

Article 50 begins a two-year countdown for the UK to negotiate its departure from the EU
Credit: 
PA Images

The suggestion comes in a new “Brexit Blueprint” that urges a "take it or leave it" attitude to the EU.

It was produced at a private conference last month led by former Cabinet member John Redwood, with input from former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson, Peter Lilley and Sir William Cash.

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In the meeting, the group called for a work permit and migrant cap system for people coming to the UK from the EU.

It also suggests Britain should either continue tariff-free trade with the bloc post Brexit, but without any obligation to accept free movement of EU citizens, or trade freely under the "relatively light" WTO standard tariffs.

In the meeting, Mr Redwood argued that it should not take Britain two years to leave the EU after it triggered Article 50.

"It is in both sides' interest to reach an earlier agreement to reduce business uncertainty," he said.

"If there is a breakdown or no likelihood of agreement, then the UK should withdraw and after the two-year period the UK will be formally out. Trade will revert to World Trade Organization rules."