‘Not at any price!’ Brexiteer Sir Desmond Swayne lashes out at EU for trying to shackle UK

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Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne argued it would be bad for both the UK and EU if a Brexit trade deal was not agreed. While speaking to Jonathan Saxty on Brexit Watch, Sir Desmond admitted he wanted a free trade agreement. However, he insisted he did not want this if it shackled the UK to the EU and prevented it from economic freedom for the future.

Sir Desmond said: “It is still too soon to tell if we will get a deal or whether there will be a no deal.

“My hope is for a deal as I have always believed in free trade.

“We have free trade with the bulk of Europe and I think it would be a shame if we returned to tariffs and quotas and rules of origin with that very significant proportion of our trade.

“It would damage the EU and it would damage us.”

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Sir Desmond added that while he was hopeful for a deal, he was not willing to have one at the expense of flexibility on the UK’s ability to build its own future.

He continued: “I certainly want to see an agreement but I don’t want an agreement that would limit our options economically for the future in terms of building a free trade arrangement with the rest of the world.

“Clearly there are aspects of the withdrawal agreement that are less than optimal.

“Whatever agreement made needs to minimise the impact of the effects on Northern Ireland, separating from us.

“So I don’t want an agreement at any price.”

Despite his hopes for a deal by the end of the year, Sir Desmond remarked it still could go either way.

He also added that the UK could get an agreement but bare-bones one that is added to over the years.

He said: “If I were to put money on their being agreement I would probably put £50 either way.

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“I think it is about even as to whether we would get an agreement or not.

“Of course the question is what sort of agreement will be had.

“I suspect it is more likely to be a bare-bones deal and over the next couple of years, all sorts of deals will be done.”

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