Theresa May’s admission that the European Court of Justice could continue to play a role during any Brexit transition deal has not gone down well with some Leave supporters. Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested that the Prime Minister had gone too far in trying to appease Brussels. But the Sun doesn’t see the PM’s comments as anything to be worried about. ‘Most sensible Leavers accept the need for a limited Brexit transition’, the paper says, even if this means a role for the ECJ. Such a transition will ensure that the impact on the economy will be minimised, the Sun says. It will also ‘buy businesses time to adjust’. But May must remember her pledge that the UK will be out of the EU by March 2019. Such a promise ‘will be laughable without some tangible sign of it’, the paper concludes.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph focuses on the suggestion that Britain could sign up to the North American Free Trade Agreement after Brexit. This ‘is a reminder that Britain has plenty of other options’ on the table – and such a threat to look elsewhere for trade agreements could be a ‘good tactic’ at this stage in Brexit talks. Let’s not forget the ‘UK is a serious economic power with which the rest of the world is very keen to do business’, the Telegraph says – and joining Nafta would be ‘the biggest, boldest move’ the UK could make to signal Britain’s intent. This is, concludes the Telegraph, ‘exactly the kind of bold thinking about trade that the Government should be engaging in’.
Let’s be realistic about Britain’s economic prospects, says the Guardian. ‘While the UK splutters along…rich world economies are picking up speed’, the paper says, pointing out that both France and the US were 25 per cent more productive than Britain last year. ‘Britain is becoming the sick man of the rich world’ and it doesn’t look as though things will improve any time soon, the paper warns. The UK’s population is ageing, and ‘high levels of debt’ are weighing the economy down. What’s more, Brexit is ’likely to exacerbate longstanding economic weaknesses’, according to the Guardian. The paper says the ‘danger’ is that the government responds to this situation by ‘depreciating the pound to retain competitiveness ‘. This will only make things worse and it’s vital that we ‘avoid such low-wage, drudgery-filled dystopias’. The Tories must face up to their ‘failed economic experiment’ – a result of austerity and an ’unequal economy’ built ‘on regulation-lite cheap labour’. It’s high time the government acts quickly to design a ‘fairer, more productive economy’, the paper concludes.