No relapse on Brexit, says British Prime Minister

No relapse on Brexit, says British Prime Minister


No relapse on Brexit, says British Prime Minister

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No relapse on Brexit, says British Prime Minister
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has dismissed reports of backsliding on Brexit


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday denied that his government was trying to roll back the EU exit deal with Britain, despite an apparent growing anti-Brexit backlash.

Brexit advocate Sunak told business leaders that life outside the European Union “already offers tremendous benefits and opportunities”.

He called for tighter immigration restrictions – a key element of the Brexit deal – and closer trade ties with Asia.

But he added: “Let me be clear: under my leadership, the UK will not seek a relationship with Europe based on alignment with EU laws.”

The UK left the EU entirely in January 2021 after years of political wrangling to secede from the bloc since the divisive 2016 referendum.

With Brexit, the UK withdrew from the European single market and customs union, while freedom of movement between member states and the jurisdiction of European courts ended.

But a deal between London and Brussels kept up largely duty-free trade with the remaining 27 members.

Sunak’s comments follow a Sunday Times report that “senior government officials” plan to “put Britain on the path to a Swiss-style relationship” with the EU.

Switzerland is much more closely tied to the bloc through bilateral agreements that allow access to the single market, a high degree of freedom of movement and through deposits into the EU coffers.

The report and comments from Treasury Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who voted to remain in the EU last week, said he was keen to remove the “vast majority” of trade barriers with the EU.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has broken years of deadlocks to secure Britain’s exit from the EU


This has unnerved Eurosceptic members of the ruling Conservative Party.

“Government needs to focus on what it needs to do, rather than trying to reopen a firm debate on Europe,” former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told The Sun.

– Bad offers? –

The backlash brought back memories of the feverish aftermath of the referendum on how best to go about Brexit.

Theresa May proposed a Swiss-style deal for the UK with the EU
AFP – Niklas HALLE’N


Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a staunch critic of his predecessor Theresa May’s plan for Swiss-style relations, eventually won the argument with his tougher version of Brexit.

He won a landslide election victory in December 2019 on a promise to “get Brexit done” after negotiating his own 2019 divorce deal.

But three years later, Britain is in a deep economic crisis and criticism of Johnson’s approval and the entire Brexit project is increasing.

Amid decades of high inflation and forecasts of the longest recession on record, a new YouGov poll last week found 56 percent of people now think it would be wrong to leave the EU.

Around 32 percent were still in favour.

The Office for Budget Responsibility watchdog, in comments backed by the Bank of England, has found that Brexit has had a “significant adverse impact” on UK trade.

The OBR accused Brexit of reducing overall trade volumes and affecting trade relations with the bloc.

The gloomy economic news was compounded by London losing its prized status as Europe’s largest stock market to Paris.

The Brexiteers pledged to secure trade deals around the world, including with the potentially lucrative United States market.

However, an agreement with Washington is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Deals London has struck with other countries – negotiated by Sunak’s short-lived predecessor Liz Truss as trade secretary – have also come under criticism.

Former Environment Secretary George Eustice said last week that the deal he struck with Australia almost a year ago was “not a really good deal for the UK”.

Ex-minister George Eustice said the Australia deal was “not… very good” for Britain.
AFP – Niklas HALLE’N


“Overall, the truth is that the UK has given away far too much for far too little,” he told MPs, citing the liberalization of cattle and sheep markets.

The European Commission said in Brussels: “Our relationship with the UK is based on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.”

A temporary deal for food and farm products is “the only Swiss-style deal or offer in our opinion,” a spokesman told reporters.


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