Peter Bone discusses Chris Bryant’s Brexiteer retweet
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The decision to leave the European Union divided the UK, and the impact of Brexit is still yet to fully reveal itself. John Bercow, former speaker of the House of Commons, discussed his apprehension at what may lie ahead for the UK economy, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk
Mr Bercow was not in favour of Brexit, and reiterated his disagreement with the decision to leave the EU.
“I am not a supporter of Brexit; I am on the record saying that I think it is a mistake. But I am a democrat and I do accept the outcome.”
“We are in a world of trade blocs and the EU is a big trade bloc.
“On the whole, it made more sense for the UK, which is a medium sized European power, to be part of that trade bloc than to be outside it.
“The decision to exit it, was, I think, an act of national self-harm economically speaking.”
John Bercow fears the potential economic consequences of Brexit (Image: GETTY)
Mr Bercow detailed the potential damage that he worries Brexit could have on the UK economy.
“I fear it will have a damaging effect on the overall volumes of trade. It is already causing considerable difficulties in terms of trade with the European Union” he said.
“Everybody knows what is happening in Northern Ireland and I think that the operation of the protocol is causing tremendous friction at the borders.
“The prime minister said that we would not have a border in the sea but a border in the sea, is in fact what we have got.
“He said that there would not be additional paperwork and bureaucracy in regulatory obstacles, but there is. That is an undeniable and readily observable fact.”
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Mr Bercow added: “The effect of that is both to add costs to business and decrease the propensity of companies to trade if they can find alternative markets that are less burdensome for them.”
The former Speaker of the House of Commons commented on the potential difficulty of forging trade agreements with other nations.
He said: “As far as wider trade is concerned, I think a lot depends on what sort of agreements can be forged elsewhere in the world, and that I think is challenging.
“I am very much hoping we can get the trade agreements elsewhere. I hope we can forge an agreement with the United States, but is that going to happen quickly?”
He also discussed the implications of leaving the European Union with regard to the UK’s political power.
Brexit divided the United Kingdom. (Image: GETTY)
“Politically, we are also in a world of power blocks. And in political terms, my overall view is that the UK will be less influential outside of the EU than inside,” Bercow said.
“We are not in a world of Britannia rules, we are not in a situation where we have got an empire and rule large parts of the world. We depend upon forging relationships and understandings.
“In terms of trade policy, and wider policy, a lot depends on multilateral, cooperative and collaborative action.
“That is true in terms of forging trade agreements, as well as the fight against climate change, trafficking, war, identity theft etc.
“There is no alternative but to seek to cooperate with others around the world. I think that was more easily and amicably done as part of the EU,” he added.
However, Bercow did admit that there is a possibility of brighter days ahead.
He said: “Do I hope that it will turn out better than I fear? Of course I do, because, as well as being a democrat, I care about my country.
“I care about the UK, about UK business, consumers and citizens as much as any Brexiteer.
“The decision has been made and the challenge now is to forge the best possible future for a new day. It isn’t all doom and gloom.”
John Bercow will be a panelist on the upcoming series of the reality TV series ‘Unicorn Hunters’, in which investors seeking investment pitch their ideas to a panel of experts, with the public also having a chance to invest in the companies on display.