It’s astonishing that we still don’t know what Brexit will mean

It’s conference season for political parties, which means journalists are traipsing around the UK from one conference centre to another. But the press pack would have been able to enjoy a bit of sun, not to mention good pizza, as they traipsed out to Italy on Friday to see the Prime Minister speak about Brexit.

Theresa May’s speech in Florence was to be significant, hence the location, but in fact we learned very little in the way of details from the speech – and there are still so many unanswered questions. What little we have learnt however, is more than May has been bothered to tell Parliament in the last 15 months. She really ought to have stood at the despatch box in the House of Commons rather than take a flight to the continent.

It is astonishing we still don’t really know what Brexit will mean for us. How it will affect household budgets, our shopping, our travel, our farmers and fishing industry, and our friends, family and neighbours from the EU who live and work here.

While it’s welcome to see some movement towards maintaining the single market – in line with growing demands from business leaders – the UK Government should be committing to long-term membership of the world’s biggest single market.

Leaving the EU will affect us all; on jobs, our economy, the environment and opportunities for young people, yet the plans appear to be more focused on squaring off the warring factions of the Tories than fixing the damaging chaos caused by this UK Government. The latest squabbles have been over Boris Johnson’s claims he shaped the Florence speech, only for David Davis to deny it.

In fact, it’s the Tory Government’s continued mismanagement of the economy, along with this Brexit uncertainty, which has caused the UK’s credit rating to be cut. Moody’s, one of the major ratings agencies, downgraded the UK to an Aa2 rating from Aa1. They said leaving the European Union was creating economic uncertainty at a time when the UK’s debt reduction plans were already off course.

No one party has all the answers on this, which is why the Prime Minister must stop this partisan approach and show willingness to work with other parties and administrations across the UK.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.