Brexit: John Redwood insists ‘we don’t need an agreement’
In a scathing attack, Brexiteer David Jones has ordered the bloc to recognise the UK will not be “dictated” to by the EU or any other nation when it comes to trading rules and regulations. The Deputy Chairman of the influential European Research Group insisted the UK would want to work with Europe but called on the bloc to understand the difference between a free trade deal and “subservience”.
In a post on Twitter, the Tory MP for Clwyd West said: “EU must understand that, while we are committed to good relations with our neighbours, we will never again allow our trade and regulatory policy to be dictated by other countries.
“A free trade agreement is one thing; subservience is another.”
His stark message comes as post-Brexit trade talks continue to remain at an impasse with outstanding issues including the so-called level playing field on competition.
Britain will leave the single market and customs union next year but the EU wants the UK to align to its rules on trade.
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Fellow Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, has also reminded the Prime Minister to take back control of UK laws in order to become a sovereign independent nation.
Sir Bill was speaking to MPs in the Commons ahead of a debate on a post-Brexit taxation Bill and called on Boris Johnson to draw on inspiration from former Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
He said: “This is our sovereignty and we have absolute total determination, as I understand so does the Prime Minister, to maintain that.
“It’s about democracy, it’s about freedom, it’s what Churchill was proud of, it’s what Margaret Thatcher was proud of, it’s what we’re proud of – and I simply make this final point, we will maintain our sovereignty at any price.”
Downing Street confirmed Mr Johnson will have dinner with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Wednesday.
The two leaders hope the political intervention will be able to salvage a trade deal after Brexit negotiators Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier were unable to find a breakthrough.
Speaking ahead of the trip to the Belgian capital, Mr Johnson acknowledged the two sides “are a long way apart” on fisheries.
The Prime Minister insisted he would hold out to the last minute in order to do a deal but maintained the UK will “prosper” regardless of the outcome.
He said: “We’re always hopeful but you know there may come a moment when we have to acknowledge that it’s time to draw stumps and that’s just the way it is.
“We will prosper mightily under any version and if we have to go for an Australian solution then that’s fine too.”
He added: “There are just limits beyond which no sensible, independent government or country could go and people have got to understand that.”
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Earlier in the day, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and his counterpart on the UK-EU joint committee, Maros Sefcovic, reached an agreement on border checks and trading rules for Northern Ireland.
The discussions are separate from the trade talks but overcame a big hurdle in the implementation of the Brexit withdrawal agreement signed in January.
The agreement means the UK can now drop the controversial clauses in the Internal Market Bill relating to Northern Ireland trade, which ministers acknowledged could have breached international law.
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