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Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen insisted the EU was preventing smooth trade between the bloc and the UK post-Brexit. While speaking to Sky News host Adam Boulton, Mr Bridgen claimed the EU was preventing billions of Euros in revenue from not agreeing on a free trade agreement. He added the UK was prepared to agree on a Canada plus deal that would benefit both sides as they recover from coronavirus.
Mr Bridgen said: “COVID-19 is transitory, we will get over this and rebuild our economy.
“We are offering the EU tariff and quota-free trade as their biggest customer.
“We buy €100billion of goods off them more than we sell to them so we are the customer.
“The fact that they won’t accept that as a super Canada deal, putting strings attached where they want us to agree all their regulation now, to me that shows complete insecurity of the European Union and lack of confidence of their own future.”
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Mr Boulton argued that the UK Government has strained talks by attempting to change the agreed Withdrawal Agreement with the Internal Market Bill.
Mr Boulton said: “One of the problems is we are also saying that the deal that we agreed and hailed less than a year ago is one that we are proposing to break under international law.
“That is hardly going to breed confidence, is it?”
Mr Bridgen replied that the Sky News host should look elsewhere for a legal opinion.
He added if you asked legal advice from two different lawyers you would get two different opinions.
Mr Bridgen also reflected on the EU’s apparent unwillingness to agree on a trade deal with the UK before the end of year deadline.
He said: “If the EU won’t do a straightforward free trade deal similar to the ones they’ve done with Canada and Japan that says more about the EU’s confidence in themselves and their confidence moving forward.
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“They can’t do a straightforward deal, they’ve got to hamstring us with their regulations because they’re scared of the prospects of the UK economy out-competing them in the future.
“That’s what we’re going to do.”
Boris Johnson has been put under increasing pressure from US President-elect, Joe Biden, to come to an agreement with the EU before the end of the transition period.
However, the UK Government has repeatedly argued they would not cave on their redlines and have told businesses to prepare for a no deal exit.
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