David Davis warned that ‘the clock is ticking’ yesterday as he told Brussels it will lose out if it delays Brexit talks.
The Brexit Secretary urged the European Union to get on with negotiations on a future trade deal or risk weakening their economies by damaging the chances of a smooth transition.
The warning came as it was revealed businesses have announced more than £50billion of investment in Britain since last year’s Brexit vote.
Brussels has repeatedly said that talks on a trade deal will not begin until sufficient progress has been made on three topics – the so-called ‘divorce bill’, citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland.
David Davis warned that ‘the clock is ticking’ yesterday as he told Brussels it will lose out if it delays Brexit talks
However, Mr Davis yesterday warned it would be impossible to resolve these issues until both sides have more of an idea about what a future relationship would look like.
He said: ‘With the clock ticking, it wouldn’t be in either of our interests to run aspects of the negotiations twice.’
The Brexit Secretary will publish several position papers setting out Britain’s negotiating strategy this week before EU leaders decide whether to move to the trade talks phase of negotiations at a European Council summit in October.
A key document is expected on the Government’s favoured approaches to enforcing rights outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Another will make clear the Government’s intentions on ensuring official documents and information exchanged between the UK, EU and other member states remain protected after Brexit.
A third document will also be published on civil judicial co-operation to reassure the domestic legal sector.
And another paper on data will seek to ensure that it continues to be passed between the UK and the Brussels bloc without disruption.
The Brexit Secretary will publish several position papers setting out Britain’s negotiating strategy this week
Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Davis said some early discussion of the future trading relationship would help progress on the Irish border.
He said: ‘It is simply not possible to reach a near final agreement on the border issue until we’ve begun to talk about how our broader future customs arrangement will work.’
Last week the Government published a paper setting out its wish for close customs arrangements with the EU and no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Meanwhile an analysis of major investments since June 2016 was welcomed by Brexit campaigners. The £50billion investment will lead to the creation of nearly 45,000 jobs.
Gisela Stuart, chairman of the Change Britain campaign, said: ‘In last year’s referendum, the Remain campaign told the British people that the price for taking back control from Brussels would be plummeting investment and skyrocketing unemployment.
‘With every day, week and month that passes, Project Fear looks ever more far-fetched as businesses announce investment after investment into the UK.’
The analysis showed companies from all industries committing themselves to the UK. They include £5.7billion investment in the transport sector, £2billion in manufacturing and £14billion poured into construction.
‘£40 a week’ boost for every family
Households could be £40 a week better off after Brexit if Britain embraces free trade outside the European Union, a group of economists has said.
The 16-strong Economists for Free Trade, led by Cardiff University economics Professor Patrick Minford, claimed abolishing barriers such as tariffs could boost the economy by £135billion a year, giving households a £5,000-a-year boost.
In order to achieve the windfall, which includes an 8 per cent fall in prices for household goods thanks to increased competition, Professor Minford said the country should embrace a clean break from the EU, leaving both the single market and customs union.
He said: ‘Hard Brexit is good for the UK economically while soft Brexit leaves us as badly off as before. Hard is economically much superior to soft.
‘Backers of soft Brexit say it would preserve jobs, but what they really mean is that it would preserve existing jobs by stopping competition from home and abroad … This aborting of competition reduces jobs in the long run.’
Professor Minford was Margaret Thatcher’s economic adviser and supported Leave during the referendum campaign.