Follow the day’s political developments as they happen, including the foreign secretary’s ‘road to Brexit’ speech
The reaction to Boris Johnson’s speech has been lukewarm at best from representatives of businesses and trade unions alike.
John Foster, the director of campaigns for the Confederation of British Industry, said businesses were committed to making Brexit a success but “evidence, not ideology, should guide the UK’s thinking on a close future relationship with the EU”.
Businesses aren’t looking for a bonfire of regulation – quite the opposite – our aerospace, automotive and chemical sectors, to name a few, all have highly integrated European supply chains that benefit from consistent regulation.
And securing alignment of data rules is vital to protect the thousands of innovative businesses that make up the UK’s 240 billion data economy.
People have learned not to trust Boris Johnson.
Instead of calming the worries of working people, he fuelled fears that he believes essential workplace rights are ‘intolerable’.
We do not make the UK more attractive to the rest of the world by putting barriers in the way of trade with our biggest market.
Whilst there may be areas where the UK wants to diverge from EU rules in the future, these are likely to be limited as the gains from divergence would have to outweigh the very significant benefits of having alignment with our closest trading partner.
Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, has responded to Johnson’s speech this afternoon, saying it was full of “empty rhetoric”.
This speech underlined the government’s real intentions; a Brexit of deregulation, where rights and protections are casually cast aside and where the benefits of the single market and the customs union are ignored.
Nobody will be fooled or reassured by the foreign secretary’s empty rhetoric. His insistence on deregulating our economy is the opposite of what businesses and trade unions want to hear.