Fringe Box



Local Reactions to News of Last-Minute Brexit Deal

Published on: 24 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 25 Dec, 2020

The announcement of a Brexit deal this afternoon (December 24) is likely to bring sighs of relief in many parts of Guildford Borough, especially those who do business with EU countries.

Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson said: “It’s welcome news that a deal has been struck and just in time for Christmas!

Angela Richardson

“I’m delighted the negotiation has resulted in agreement with our close friends and neighbours in the EU, at the same time as respecting the democratic vote of the 2016 EU Referendum and General Election results of 2017 and 2019.

“I hope this will be the start of a reconciliation for not just the whole of the UK but locally in Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages. The stability this deal provides in the wake of a difficult year with Covid impacting our lives, cannot be underestimated or undervalued.

“I have been recalled to Parliament next week and will spend the intervening period examining the lengthy text. With this deal, we can now have our eyes fully focused on the opportunities it brings, including cooperation on shared areas of concern, like the environment, ahead of the COP26 summit.”

Zoe Franklin

Zoe Franklin, Guildford Liberal Democrat spokesperson on parliamentary matters said: “News that a deal has been reached is positive in as much that it finally brings to an end the months of uncertainly for businesses and the general public.

“However, whether it is good news for the UK or Guildford and Cranleigh is yet to be seen. As always with such deals the ‘devil is in the detail’ and, given there are hundreds of pages for MPs to scrutinise, it will be some time until the full implications of the deal are clear.

“The early headlines do make it clear though that our new relationship with the EU is significantly different – Erasmus, pet passports, visa-free travel beyond 90 days, easy recognition of professional qualifications and mobile roaming charges, amongst many other benefits are now gone.

“I will be observing closely the more detailed analysis of the deal in the coming days and the views of my Lib Dem parliamentary colleagues.”

Brian Creese

Brian Creese, Chair of Guildford Labour commented: “It seems that at the last moment the government has done a deal with the EU. At present we have no idea if it is a bad deal or a very bad deal, but it is likely better than No deal, so to that extent, it must be good news for Guildford.

“Overall, however, it is hard to see how distancing ourselves from our biggest market and making exporters clamber over more hoops and do more paperwork can possibly be better for Guildford. But the most important thing is to have some certainty for business, and for the country, to move on from Brexit, [without it] it could have been worse.”

The leader of Guildford Borough Council, Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch), said: “I think the fact a deal has been reached is undoubtedly a good thing.

Cllr Joss Bigmore

“I say this not as an opinion as to whether a deal is better than no deal, or even whether it was better to Leave or Remain. I say it because the country can now move forward with more certainty, and our exceptional businesses will have clarity about the new rules under which they must compete.

“Perhaps more importantly, the country can at last move on and start to heal from the deep divisions that have split us since the referendum four and a half years ago.

Christian Holliday (centre) during the EU Referendum campaign

Christian Holliday, a former Conservative councillor, who led the “Vote Leave” campaign in 2016, said: “This is great news for the UK and Guildford. Doom-merchants in Continuity-Remain said it couldn’t be done, but once again they have been proven wrong.

“This deal will preserve tariff-free and quota-free trade worth over £600bn a year, whilst not impeding our ability to strike agreements with other countries around the world. Guildford businesses, and professional services, who deal regularly with companies in the EU can draw great comfort from today’s announcement.

“Enforced uniformity has been banished from our relationship with the EU and an independent body will be established to oversee disputes, with no role for the European Court of Justice. It is also explicit that we will not take part in any drives for a single European defence or foreign policy.

“This is a great Brexmas present for local businesses and all those who voted Leave in Guildford to take back control.”

Cllr Ramsey Nagaty

And Ramsey Nagaty, leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group said: “With an agreement reached on a trade deal following Brexit then, once the deal has been debated and gone through the various committees, focus can return to other matters.

“Whether you were pro or anti-Brexit a deal, at last, has been done. How this will affect Guildford is hard to say as the details are yet to be fully disclosed.

“If this releases the Conservatives to give time implement far-reaching reforms, including to planning and to local government, then Guildford has much to be concerned about.

“As we found with the past Conservative administration of Guildford, a large majority [of seats at GBC] led to decisions being taken despite strong local residents’ opposition. The same abuse of power must be a concern whilst central government continues to be a two-party affair and the opposition is weak.

“GGG continue to monitor the situation with interest and will continue to stand firm to our beliefs and our desire for the best for Guildford, urban and rural.”

Representatives of all local political parties have been invited to comment. Please check back.

Share This Post

Responses to Local Reactions to News of Last-Minute Brexit Deal

  1. Andrew Eacott Reply

    December 24, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Looking forward to seeing how Britain thrives under a worse trading relationship than we had a year ago.

    • John Perkins Reply

      December 24, 2020 at 9:35 pm

      How do you know what the trading relationship is? Have you access to government documents the rest of us are not party to?

  2. Stuart Barnes Reply

    December 25, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Well done Boris! I hope that not too much has been conceded to the bad losers of the EU.

    Now what is needed is a peerage for the great Nigel Farage. Without his fantastic work we would never have got to this point.

    Merry Christmas to all – even to the bunch of faux Conservative MPs of the last Parliament who tried together with the connivance of the Speaker to overturn the will of the people.

  3. John Perkins Reply

    December 25, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    I’ve not yet read the summary of the agreement, so cannot comment on whether it’s good or bad.

    However, the trading relationship was worse after 1973 when the country signed up to the CAP [Common Agricultural Policy) and the CFP [Common Fisheries Policy]. The first is now gone, as is the membership fee, and the CFP will gradually disappear over the years.

    There’s a big world out there and unshackled from the most damaging aspects of the EU there’s every reason for optimism.

  4. Dave Middleton Reply

    December 26, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Writing as an ordinary bloke on the Clapham Omnibus, I personally don’t think there will be much change overall to trade and the business economy, for better or worse.

    Despite the political meddling and posturing on both sides, the pragmatists in businesses, large and small and the population in general, will make the system work.

    One need only look at the recent images of thousands of goods vehicles bottled up at the channel ports, to see how much stuff our European neighbours want to buy from us and we, in turn, buy from them.

    I doubt that huge restrictions and tariffs will suddenly be placed on trade by either side, for fear of the other reciprocating. Yes, there will be new rules and regulations, but we will adapt and overcome.

    Perhaps the situation we shall find ourselves in will be more akin to the original EEC that the country voted to remain in back in the 1970s, rather than the EU “superstate” we latterly found ourselves heading towards, through creeping political manipulation.

    As an aside, in terms of production, sale and transport of goods, I can’t help but wonder just how many lorry loads of virtually identical items or produce, pass each other every day travelling to or from the continent?

    Surely in these environmentally challenging times, we should be making and selling goods and products within our own internal market as much as possible, even if it means adjusting our diet and expectations?

  5. Susan Fox Reply

    December 26, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    We had it all and threw it away, I don’t blame the Leavers but it wasn’t the EU, it was our government who ignored the loss of jobs, poor education standards, poverty and low wage levels for jobs now recognised as essential to us all, not forgetting austerity.

    I hope things turn out better than I expect but I will be a Remainer/Rejoiner for ever.

    Happy New Year to The Dragon.

    May you continue to inform and provide a platform for all views.

    • John Perkins Reply

      December 27, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      I thought Project Fear was behind us. Is it not possible to show some acceptance, if not a little cautious optimism?

      It’s not been possible to remain since the end of January.

      Those wishing to rejoin must first persuade people that, despite paying so much to leave, they will have to pay even more to get back in.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *