No Deal Is Better Than A Bad Deal: Britain Should Walk Away From The Brexit Negotiations

Monday 3 December 2018, 7pm | Emmanuel Centre

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Britain is heading for disaster. As Theresa May’s government fumbles our negotiations with the EU, we face the very real possibility of a disorderly no deal Brexit. Aircraft could be grounded. Supplies of food and medicine could grow scarce. Border crossings on both sides of the channel could be gridlocked and large chunks of Kent transformed into a giant lorry park, with queues stretching back for miles. A new hard border in Ireland could blow up the peace process. And that’s not to mention the dire trade consequences of a chaotic Brexit – under WTO rules, tariffs could be as high as 10% for cars and 40% for some agricultural products. This is the nightmare we could wake up to on 30th March 2019. Better than a bad deal? No deal is the worst possible Brexit deal.

That’s the view of the Brexit doomsayers. But isn’t this just Project Fear all over again? According to some Brexiteers, leaving under WTO rules would give us a clean break from the stifling, protectionist EU, giving us the opportunity to become a beacon of free trade with the rest of the world. It would allow us to abandon our over-regulated, overtaxed European economic model and become the Singapore of the north Atlantic. Some economists have even estimated that by cutting links with the EU and making our economy more competitive through slashing regulations and unilaterally dropping tariffs, UK growth would be about 7% higher than otherwise, increasing Treasury revenue by about £80bn a year. Better to have a proper full fat Brexit than the half-baked Chequers fudge cooked up by Theresa May, which threatens to turn us into an EU-controlled vassal state.

Whatever your views, the likelihood of a no deal Brexit grows by the day. Join the debate on Monday 3rd December and have your say on what the best strategy for Britain should be.

Speakers for the motion

John Redwood

Prominent Brexit-supporting politician and Conservative MP for Wokingham. He previously served in the Cabinet of John Major’s government and the Shadow Cabinets of Michael Howard and William Hague, and twice challenged for the leadership of the Conservative Party in the 1990s.

Remaining speaker for the motion to be announced.

Speakers against the motion

Andrew Adonis

Labour Party peer who served as a minister in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for five years. He is widely regarded as the architect of the academies and tuition fee policies under New Labour. After leaving government he became chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, a position he recently resigned in protest over Brexit. He supports Britain remaining in the European Union.

Nicky Morgan

Conservative MP for Loughborough and former Secretary of State for Education under David Cameron. She is now Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. She is a prominent advocate for a Norway-style Brexit inside the European single market.


Nick Robinson

Presenter on Radio 4’s Today programme and former BBC political editor.


Speakers are subject to change.