Laird urges May to scrap no-deal Brexit, as report reveals Fife impact

Lesley Laird MP has signed cross-party letter to Theresa May urging her to safeguard manufacturing jobs by ruling out a no-deal Brexit.

The cross-party letter, which comes ahead of Tuesday’s Meaningful Vote, warned the UK “must not crash out of the EU without a deal.”

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also advised MPs this week that, in the event of a no-deal, the cost of importing food products to the UK could rise by a minimum of 8.8 percent to as much as 32 per cent.

BRC’s analysis determined the impact on the cost of groceries for the average household in each constituency, revealing residents in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath could see grocery bills rise between 1.1 to 4.4 per cent.

Lesley said: “While that increase could be absorbed by some households, the effects of a price hike on people struggling financially could be crippling.

“People in the lowest 10 per cent income bracket could end up having to spend £28.50 more on food a week. That equates to food accounting for 14 per cent of all spending.

“Far too many families in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath already struggle to put food on the table as it is and a no-deal could result in foodbanks flooded with new referrals.

“This is unacceptable and that’s why the urgent priority right now must be to ensure a no-deal is ruled out.”

The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29. Yvette Cooper MP secured an amendment to the finance bill on Tuesday which puts some safeguards in place against no deal.

The Grieve amendment which was accepted by the Speaker yesterday (Wednesday) means that if Theresa May’s deal fails to pass Parliament she has a three-day deadline to present Plan B, and not the 21 days previously granted.

Lesley commented: “Theresa May is deliberately running down the clock and is trying to play both sides off against each other.  For Remain supporters it’s take my deal or get no deal.  For Leave supporters it’s take my deal or get no Brexit.  No one should be fooled by this pathetic attempt to present this as a binary choice.

“A no-deal Brexit would negatively impact businesses and residents right here on our doorstep and it’ll be the poorest who suffer most.

“Meanwhile, May’s deal does not protect our economy, does not protect workers’ rights and will hurt us financially.

“When the Government’s deal is likely voted down next week, Labour will advocate that the Government should call a General Election.

“If Labour can’t secure a General Election, we have been clear that we would keep all options on the table including a public vote.”