International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said “intransigence” from the EU is pushing Britain towards a no-deal Brexit.
With less than eight months until Britain quits the bloc, the prominent Brexiteer put the odds of the UK leaving the EU without agreeing a deal over their future relationship at “60-40”.
Mr Fox said he believed the risk of a no-deal scenario had increased, pinning the blame on the European Commission and Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
“I think the intransigence of the commission is pushing us towards no deal,” he told the Sunday Times.
“We have set out the basis in which a deal can happen but if the EU decides that the theological obsession of the unelected is to take priority over the economic well-being of the people of Europe then it’s a bureaucrats’ Brexit – not a people’s Brexit – (and) then there is only going to be one outcome.”
It was up to the EU whether it wanted to put “ideological purity” ahead of the real economy, Mr Fox said.
He said Mr Barnier had dismissed the UK’s proposals in the Chequers plan thrashed out by Theresa May and the cabinet simply because “we have never done it before”.
If Britain fails to agree the terms of its divorce with the EU and leaves without even a transition agreement to smooth its exit, it would revert to trading under World Trade Organisation rules in March 2019.
If the EU is pushing us to a no deal Brexit then so be it.
We’ve already wasted two years on Brexit negotiating with the EU, so in Theresa May’s own words ‘’no deal, is better than a bad deal’’.