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Nov 2nd, 2016

People-powered Brexit meeting with David Davis

By Freya Campbell

I met with my local MP David Davis on 15th October to discuss 38 Degrees’ people powered Brexit plan.

Mr Davis is aware of 38 Degrees, and has even appeared in a video with David Babbs before.

I initially asked about consultations on Brexit, and the belief that it should not be left only to politicians. Mr Davis told me that a wide variety of UK organisations would be consulted, including the TUC, CBI and the Welsh and Scottish assemblies. He also said that 38 Degrees’ 6 principles were not the only areas of Brexit.

On the NHS, Mr Davis made no comment on whether or not the government plans to protect the NHS, but did say that they were committed to keeping EU staff, so long as they met residency requirements.

Mr Davis also stated that Prime Minister May intended to make the economy fairer, focusing in particular on tax dodging. Employment laws would not be changed, he said, but investment in the economy was already underway, and they were assessing investment in regions. There was, however, no commitment to investing in training and Further Education Colleges.

The UK will be making it’s own trade deals, Mr Davis said, but there was no promise of transparency or the “democratic processes”. When I pointed out that the lack of an acceptable deal with the EU probably cost Cameron his premiership, his only response was a wry smile.

As Employment rights were not an area of contention, they would not be revoked, though Human Rights needed to be assessed.

Immigration would need to be addressed, but Mr Davis has said that levels would come down slowly rather than all at once. Whether or not EU citizens will be able to stay here depends on the EU promising similar security to UK citizens.

Because we only had 15 minutes to talk, we couldn’t discuss the sixth point of environment and farming.

Leaving the meeting, I felt that Mr Davis was playing the party line, and was not prepared to commit to any specific principles or strategy. There also seemed to be no clear plan for Brexit, which is more than a little worrying. His lack of commitment gives me the impression that negotiation strategies have not been decided on, and that issues were more of a political nature than principles based.

I think Mr Davis is keeping his own counsel, and currently is not prepared to communicate it, but I do believe his role is that of a referee between Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and Prime Minister May while trying to find a pragmatic solution to Brexit negotiations.

Alan Terry Hutchinson

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