As the UK ambassador to the EU warns that a Brexit agreement could take a decade to reach, do we need a transitional deal?

The European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, told the BBC that transitional arrangements were "certainly possible" (Source: Getty)

Iain Anderson, co-founder and executive chairman at Cicero Group, says Yes.

When was the last time you jumped off a cliff? Never. Sounds like a very sound plan to me. As the UK looks to form new trading relationships with the EU and globally, it is vital that we don’t walk any economic plank. And this week our financial regulators have also warned against any systemic shock from having no Brexit transition plan.

We need to ensure that all our businesses – both homegrown and vital inward investors – are able to plan for the transition out of the EU without facing yet more unneeded market shocks. A transitional plan works both for the UK and for the EU. It also works globally. It ensures strong capital flows are maintained which are vital for our growing businesses and investment is not interrupted. Whether you are a car maker, a steel maker or a financial market maker, we all need something to hang onto right now. A transitional plan is just that.

John Redwood, Conservative member of parliament for Wokingham, says No.

I’m an optimist about the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the rest of the European Union. No member state government has said that they want to impose tariffs and damaging barriers on their access to the UK market. There is every prospect that the other countries will want to carry on trading on sensible terms. If by any chance they do want to damage their trade with us, then it will be no easier to negotiate a transitional arrangement than a final one.

The good news is that, if I’m wrong and we end up on most favoured nation tariffs and arrangements, Britain will still have a great amount of trade with the rest of the European Union, as we do with the rest of the world on that same basis. Let’s make them a generous offer of no tariffs and no new barriers, as no change is often the easiest option.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles