Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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Britain will want to raise the drawbridge slowly


02 August 2017
FT

Sir, Liam Fox says he speaks for Brexiters in that the deal was never to have free movement after Brexit (www.FT.com, July 31). Writing as one of 10 Labour MPs who campaigned for Brexit, I do not accept his view. The key is not to keep setting deadlines - i.e. three years for this and three years for something else - but working out an agreement that is best for Britain, whatever the timetable.

We do not currently have the skills base to clamp down immediately on EU immigration without damaging British industry and our prosperity. We need to negotiate a slow raising of the drawbridge whose pace is set by the implementation of an effective skills policy in this country. The most crucial next move of the negotiations is to find a safe harbour for the day after Brexit, where we will continue the slow transition of which chancellor Philip Hammond speaks, while firmly setting a whole series of policies that will deliver a successful Brexit.

What is crucial for the public is the UK government's direction of travel towards Brexit, rather than deadlines that will end in people who voted for Brexit feeling politicians have deserted them.

Frank Field MP

Labour, Birkenhead,

House of Commons, UK




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