Brexit deal has to 'take back control' says Penny Mordaunt
Tory backbench MP David Davis has encouraged Britain to strike a deal with the EU but warned it must not come at a cost. Mr Davis has heaped praise on the firm stance taken by the UK negotiating team and stated the UK should continue to “stand our ground” in talks and insisted Boris Johnson “should not be afraid” of no deal outcome.
The former Brexit Secretary has lashed out at the EU negotiating team and said the bloc has “behaved unreasonably from the beginning”.
Post-Brexit trade talks between UK chief negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier remain at an impasse, with outstanding issues of fishing, governance and the so-called level playing field on competition.
The EU chief has reportedly told MEPs there is just 72 hours left to strike an agreement as the official deadline of December 31 closes-in.
In a scathing assessment, Mr Davis condemned the EU’s position on the key issues and accused the bloc of double standards over subsidies for businesses, “wholly unreasonable” fishing demands as well as trying to keep the UK tied to Brussels’ rules.
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The 71-year-old also outlined three things the UK negotiating team should remember in the final stages of talks.
He urged Mr Frost to firstly “stay calm”, secondly “if possible, get a deal” and thirdly “remember the referendum was about controlling our own country, not about economics”.
Writing in The Sun, he added: “We therefore must not give up any control on these key issues. If we can’t achieve that, so be it.
“We will have no deal and should not be afraid of that.”
The issue of the level playing field has scuppered a deal for the past 11-months amid fears over EU businesses being undercut by the UK in future deals.
Mr Davis explained the UK Government should be free to help firms through subsidies without being blocked by the EU.
On the tone of the final stages of negotiations, Mr David stated the UK “should be polite but robust”.
He added: “We should go the extra mile to get the deal.
“But frankly, if all we get is acrimony then we should be willing to go it alone.”
Lord Frost is currently locked in negotiations in Brussels and Mr Davis has lauded his strong stance in the talks so far.
He said:” Lord Frost has played a blinder. He has been more willing than others to stand his ground.
“We should back him and stand our ground right to the last day.”
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Downing Street issued an update of the state of play this afternoon and reiterated the UK would remain at the negotiating table until the last minute in order to strike an agreement.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “Time is obviously in very short supply and we’re in the final stages, but we’re prepared to negotiate for as long as we have time available if we think an agreement is still possible.”
Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are also holding their second call in a little over 48 hours in order to salvage the talks.
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