Kendall challenges Burghart to reject no-deal

December 8, 2019 2:21 PM

David Kendall campaigning in Brentwood and Ongar November 2019David Kendall has today challenged the Conservative candidate to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020.

The challenge from the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Brentwood & Ongar, just a few days before polling day, follows Boris Johnson refusing to rule out a no-deal exit from the EU.

Under the Conservative Party's plan, the UK will have until December 2020 to deliver the second phase of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. However, the plans also say Boris Johnson will not seek any extension despite overwhelming evidence showing that time-frame is near impossible.

This means that the Tories are signing up to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal, the Liberal Democrats claim.

This is why David has today written to Alex Burghart, the Conservative candidate, to ask him to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020 which would cause severe economic damage and put jobs at risk in Brentwood & Ongar.

Kendall said:

"It is clear that the Conservatives are now effectively the party of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. They are content to see the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.

"Boris Johnson's Brexit plan is already a disaster, but he has now made things even worse by putting the UK on a collision course with a no-deal Brexit in December 2020. That means more harm to our NHS, more uncertainty for businesses, more jobs lost.

"People in Brentwood & Ongar have a right to know if Mr Burghart supports the reckless and dangerous plan Boris Johnson is proposing. That is why I have written to him today by email to urge him to rule out supporting any deal that risks a no deal cliff edge in December 2020.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to stop Brexit. We are the strongest party for Remainers and we know that there is no deal as good as the one we have in the EU."


  • Boris Johnson has refused to rule out the prospect of a no-deal exit when challenge by The Independent,see here.
  • The Prime Minister has also confirmed no-deal preparations will continue. He said: "Of course preparations will remain extant, there's no reason to dismantle them," See here.
  • The Conservative manifesto states: "We will not extend the implementation period beyond December "
  • Many experts have said that the Government's timeline makes a no-deal exit more likely in December 2020.
  • The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted that the UK crashing out of the EU would mean a £30 billion a year hit to our public finances.
  • The Institute for Government has described the certainty around securing a deal within this time-frame as "zero".
  • The Tory government's own 2018 analysis concluded that in a 15-year horizon, a no-deal Brexit would reduce GDP by 9.3%.

David's email to Alex Burghart, Conservative candidate

Dear Alex

I am writing to you today to ask if you will rule out a damaging no-deal Brexit in December 2020 which would be disastrous for our local community.

The Brexit plan that your Party has proposed would require the completion of a Free Trade Agreement before the end of 2020 unless the UK asks for an extension. It is clear from your manifesto that the Tories will not seek an extension of the transition period in December 2020, despite overwhelming evidence from trade experts showing that it will be nearly impossible to secure a deal in that time-frame.

By signing up to such an arbitrary and unrealistic deadline, you are personally setting up the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal at the end of next year.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has predicted that the UK crashing out of the EU would mean a £231 billion hit to our public finances over the next five years, equivalent to £8,000 per household. It also means another year of uncertainty for businesses in Brentwood & Ongar, costing jobs and prosperity in our area.

You have said you are prepared to sign up to Boris Johnson's deal, despite his decision to abandon legal commitments to maintain alignment with EU regulation protecting the environment and workers' rights, and the significant additional burdens it places on businesses trading with the EU. However, given the commitments in your manifesto not to extend the negotiation deadline, it now appears you are also content to see the UK crash out of the EU without a deal. You and I both know that this is unacceptable.

So, I am asking you today to unequivocally reject a no-deal Brexit, and to commit to not voting for any plan that would allow the continued risk of such severe economic damage to Brentwood & Ongar.

The people of Brentwood & Ongar deserve better.

Best regards,

David Kendall

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Brentwood and Ongar