We thought this was a good idea, so here is our alternate Conference speech we wish she would have delivered:
THE BEST BREXIT DEAL
Our first and most important duty is to get Brexit right. The people have decided. We have taken their instruction.
Britain is leaving the European Union in March 2019. But we are not leaving Europe.
We believe the best place for the UK is to remain in the European Economic Area or EEA – this will help safeguard the UK’s prosperity and the livelihoods of thousands of British workers.
It will allow for tariff-free trade, and allow British citizens to live, work and study in the 30 other EEA states.
In order to stay in the EEA, we will need to rejoin EFTA (the European Free Trade Association) which the UK helped to initially create.
We have sent our official request to the EFTA Council and we are confident that we can rejoin as our EU membership expires in March 2019 to provide seamless trade continuity.
This approach will also give assurance to EU citizens working in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU27.
For those who fear that this new arrangements would amount to some kind of ‘remaining in by the back door’ or ‘EU by another name, let me be clear, that is not the case.
The UK will no longer be bound by the Common Agricultural Policy, we will no longer be subject to the EU Common Fisheries Policy. We will no longer be part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) so we will speak for ourselves and reclaim our seats on global bodies like the World Trade Organisation.
We will no longer be subject to ‘Ever closer Union’ or the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – instead we will resolve disputes amicably at the EFTA Court.
We will no longer be subject to EU rules around Justice and Home Affairs or Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
We will no longer be part of the EU’s Customs Union or Common Commercial Commercial Policy. We will no longer have to apply their Common External Tariff.
These factors mean we can have an independent trade policy and strike new trade deals all around the globe.
We also hope to grandfather or ‘roll over’ many of the trade deals struck by the EU and EFTA states over the last few decades so we can rapidly build up an extensive trade deal portfolio.
We will mirror many EU standards and specifications so we can continue to trade freely on the continent and enjoy the benefits of the Single Market – but we will be no passive rule taker – we will actively help shape those rules in various joint committees and meetings as fellow EEA members.
Where appropriate, some of the powers or ‘competences’ claimed back from Brussels to Westminster will be passed down to the Devolved Assemblies and Scottish Parliament.
We believe that now is the time for a radical re-think of how we ‘do’ democracy in the UK. So the government will be putting forward proposals for an elected English Assembly – elected under a system of Proportional Representation.
This new English Assembly will help share in the newly-enlarged legislative workload. We will be inviting English cities to bid for the location of the ‘Seat’ of this new English Assembly shortly.
We believe this will revitalize and renew our democratic system.
We invite you to help our new vision of the future for the UK after Brexit become a reality. We believe our future is a bright one, working hand-in-hand with our European Partners. Thank you.