11:29 GMT29 November 2020
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    Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged UK businesses to accelerate preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

    UK Prime Minister Johnson has insisted that the country will prosper outside the EU with or without a trade deal, stressing that whilst companies have been busy fighting the challenges of Covid, they must now get ready for the end of the Brexit transition. With more on this story, Sputnik spoke to Donald MacKay the Leader of UKIP Scotland, in this interview. 

    Sputnik: With 73 days to go before Britain leaves the European Union… should Boris Johnson and the government perhaps been clearer with their Brexit intentions to the business community?

    Donald MacKay: I think that the business community is sensible enough to realise that what's going on is a kind of elaborate game. I mean, we shouldn't forget that the EU do not want Britain to leave on anything remotely like reasonable terms, because there would be a queue at the door of other countries wanting to get out. So, my suspicion is that the EU are not in any way making this easy and if there's been any kind of error of judgement, it's possibly that the British government have thought far too highly, that the EU would want an acceptable deal all round.

    I mean, those of us who watch these things very firmly hold the view that the EU do not want a deal that doesn't suit them, and if it suits them it probably won't suit us. I don't think that any of us who are in any way interested in the workings of the EU are in any way surprised by the current situation. Nor for that matter are we disheartened.

    I think this is great news. I think we should prepare everything and we should leave the EU full stop. That's been our position for a long time many years. We don't want to leave but not really leave. We want to leave and I think that ultimately does mean having a No Deal Brexit and I don't think we'll be in any way disadvantaged by it.

    Sputnik: In your eyes, Donald, do you think firms realistically have enough time to prepare for Britain's withdrawal from the EU?

    Donald MacKay: Well, yes, but they've had more than 73 days. I actually look at it from exactly the other point of view; on the 23rd of June 2016 we voted to leave, four years later we're still in it. So, plenty of time absolutely, definitely. Maybe individual firms have their own particular issues that they have to deal with but I would have thought that anybody who is dependent upon the EU in any way, shape or form has been aware of the fact that we're going to leave, and I'm very pleased that we're leaving without any fudged deal, which is what I feared.

    Still not 100% sure that with 73 days to go, there still might not be a sleight of hand in the background, but on the assumption that we leave on what is essentially a no-deal Brexit, I think that's excellent news and I wonder why it's taken so long. We were supposed to leave originally in March 2019. We didn't. We were told categorically that we would, we didn't. So, we're in here in October 2020 and we're still in it, so we can't get out quick enough, and firms that aren't prepared haven't been keeping a close eye on what's been happening over the last few years. We voted to get out and we've been in it for too long since that vote.

    Sputnik: With that in mind, what policies from the government should perhaps be enacted to improve confidence for UK firms?

    Donald MacKay: I wouldn't know where to start - I think that's a subject in itself. First and foremost, we have to look at taxation, I think you definitely have to look at regulation. My own industry is regulated to an excessive degree and largely that is because they want the British financial services sector to be very similar to the European Union financial services sector.

    By getting out of the European Union, I'd like to think that we take all the unnecessary red tape and put it in the nearest bin so the British government can seek to set business free. That's one of the reasons for leaving the EU. It's not the only reason, but it's one of the reasons.

    So, creating an environment, a healthy environment for business, is perfectly possible. Although given that the British government at the moment seems determined to destroy business with its COVID policies, I think that's actually a bigger issue. Countries and economies thrive when businesses thrive and if businesses are stifled then you've got what we've got.

    So, I think COVID has shown that this government, this so-called Conservative government, has no interest in business at all. It is throttling our economy for no reason whatsoever and that is the kind of issue that actually concerns me more. As far as leaving the EU is concerned, get rid of regulation. Only the regulation which we need and which makes sense, not my nonsense, and in my industry; we could take three-quarters of the regulation and get rid of it. It serves no purpose whatsoever except to employ a lot of fat cats on healthy salaries.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Britain, Brexit deal, UKIP, Boris Johnson, post-Brexit, no-Brexit, Brexit, EU
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