09.01.2018 | Davis threatens to take EU to court for harming UK business withno deal continguency plot
Source - The Daily Express
The Brexit secretary claimed the Brussels bloc’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit could jeopardise existing contracts or force British companies to move abroad if the UK leaves without a deal.
In a letter to Theresa May, he added guidance from EU agencies sees the UK becoming a “third country” when it leaves the bloc in March 2019.
But Mr Davis also revealed he has consulted lawyers over the rift and would ask the European Commission to revise the measures to highlight the potential for a future transition period and trade deal.
The Brexit boss said the European Union moves will see the UK treated differently from other member states, even before it will leave the bloc “in a way which is frequently damaging to UK interests”.
However his demand has been attacked by MPs, given that UK ministers have outlined elements of their own planning.
Pat McFadden, a Labour member of the Brexit select committee said: “The Government is implicitly threatening a no-deal scenario.
“It should come as no surprise that the EU is also preparing for this possibility.”
Stephen Kinnock, another Labour MP, said the Government was “naive” to think the EU would not be looking to outline its own plans to prepare for scenarios including a no-deal Brexit.
He added: “The passive-aggressive tone of the letter demonstrates that the Government doesn’t have a clue.
“The relationship between the EU and UK does seem to be falling to pieces.”
An aide from the Department for Exiting the EU said: “It’s clear there have been a number of instances where the commission, by treating the UK differently despite still being a member of the EU, have not acted in good faith.
“It should be no surprise that if the commission attempt to stoke fears about worst-case scenarios. We will correct them and reassure our firms.”
However, although Mr Davis claimed he had sought legal advice from officials, he added he was warned that any legal challenge would probably fail.
He wrote in the letter: “Any legal action would also be high-risk politically and financially and may not conclude until after we exit."