February 20, 2018

The UK’s Brexit secretary does not expect Mad Max to become a reality

By Billy

People may have flocked to see the latest instalment of the Mad Max movie franchise in their thousands but it’s not a future the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis sees for the UK.

The successful Mad Max series of action films portrayed societal collapse in a lawless future world — unsurprisingly, government officials are keen for this to be avoided.

Davis is today hoping to calm fears that the UK’s exit from the European Union will lead to a “race to the bottom” in production standards and will argue for continued close co-operation between the UK and the EU on regulations and standards.

What will be said:

Speaking in Vienna in the latest in a series of cabinet speeches called the road to Brexit, Davis is expected to say:

[Critics] fear that Brexit could lead to an Anglo-Saxon race to the bottom. With Britain plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction.

These fears about a race to the bottom are based on nothing, not history, not intention, nor interest.

While I profoundly disagree with them. It does remind us all that we must provide reassurance.

Why it matters:

Some people have raised concerns then the UK leaves the EU’s single market there could be a drop in food standards — with warnings around chlorinated chicken and milk containing antibiotics brought over from the US if the UK strikes a trade deal with the country.

The EU has previously warned that the UK’s own standards and regulations will not be recognised across Europe.

Last year EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said:

The UK wants to take back control, it wants to adopt its own standards and regulations.

But it also wants to have these standards recognised automatically in the EU. That is what UK papers ask for.

This is simply impossible. You cannot be outside the single market and shape its legal order.


Last week the UK’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, delivered what was intended to be a rallying speech in support of Brexit.

He called upon pro-leave figures to understand the concerns of those who wanted to remain in the EU. Johnson said he wanted to “reach out to those who still have anxieties”.

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