BVCA backs May’s Brexit plan

Director General Tim Hames said May offered a ‘new level of clarity’ on Brexit.

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association has backed Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, saying it offered a “new level of clarity” on the issue.

Calling May’s outline a “One Direction Brexit”, Tim Hames, Director General of the BVCA, said “[ May’s plan] is absolutely clear in its end, and, of necessity, is only mildly flexible in means.”

Hames also said surprise at May’s speech was puzzling. “Precisely why anything that she said was received as a surprise is, to me, by far the most surprising aspect of the entire episode,” he wrote.

Setting out the five factors he believes are central to the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy in a post on the association’s website, he highlighted her unequivocal stance on leaving the single market.

“As should now be blindingly obvious, the restoration of independent UK control over its borders… is the darkest red of red lines as far as the Prime Minister…is concerned,” wrote Hames. “[This] means that the UK cannot be a ‘member’ of the single market, it can only have certain forms of access to or association with it. Crucially, though, Mrs May has opened the door to a possible ‘cash for access’ deal in this space,” he added.

In a blunt assessment of May’s speech, Hames said that May’s intentions regarding the UK’s Customs Union membership were clear.

“The Department for International Trade has been established even though the UK cannot conduct trade deals on its own until after Brexit…This means an institutional impulse exists to quit the Customs Union,” he wrote.