Brexit: Reopening debate is 'last thing we need' says Fox
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A Tory Brexiteer has torn apart the prospect of Britain striking a Swiss-style deal with the European Union. Dr Liam Fox set out three reasons why the move would not match up “in any way, shape or form” with the “spirit” of Brexit.
The senior Conservative MP highlighted how Switzerland – which is not a member of the EU – has to pay into the bloc’s budget, accept freedom of movement and follow some EU rules in exchange for access to the single market.
Dr Fox told Sky News: “I think politically reopening the debate on Brexit is the last thing we need at the present time.
“This talk about a Swiss relationship, the Swiss have to pay into the EU budget, they have to accept free movement of people and they have to accept European laws over which they have no control.
“I don’t see that as being in line in any way, shape or form with the spirit of our referendum or our exit from the EU.
“I think it’s a political non-starter, it is a waste of everyone’s energy when we should just get on with the job at hand.”
Dr Fox’s comments come after reports Rishi Sunak’s Government is eyeing up a Swiss-style deal with Brussels, alarming Brexiteers.
But the PM yesterday downplayed the suggestion of closer ties with the EU.
Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference in Birmingham, Mr Sunak said he wished to be “unequivocal” that the UK “will not pursue any relationship with Europe that relies on alignment with EU laws” under his stewardship.
He said: “I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit and I know that Brexit can deliver, and is already delivering, enormous benefits and opportunities for the country – migration being an immediate one where we have proper control of our borders and are able to have a conversation with the country about the type of migration that we want and need.
“We weren’t able to do that inside the European Union, at least now we are in control of it.
“When it comes to trade, it means that we can open up our country to the world’s fastest-growing markets.
“I’ve just got back from the G20 in Indonesia, we’re talking about signing CPTPP, where we’ve got some of the most exciting, fastest-growing economies in the world and we can become a part of that trading bloc, that’s a fantastic opportunity for the UK.”
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