The former Tory chairman put the chance of failing to come to an agreement at “60-40”. He told the Sunday Times that Brussels’ chief negotiator had dismissed the UK’s Chequers proposals simply because “we have never done it before”….reports Asian Lite News
International Trade Secretary and Brexiteer Dr Liam Fox says the chance of a no-deal Brexit is growing, blaming the “intransigence” of the European Commission.
The former Tory chairman put the chance of failing to come to an agreement at “60-40”. He told the Sunday Times that Brussels’ chief negotiator had dismissed the UK’s Chequers proposals simply because “we have never done it before”.
The UK and EU say they want agreement before the exit on 29 March 2019.
The top Brexiteer’s comment on No Deal Brexit echo the fear of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. The Canadian warned that the possibility of a no-deal Brexit was “uncomfortably high”. Mr Carney said that if a no-deal Brexit were to happen, it would mean disruption to trade and economic activity, as well as higher prices for a period of time.
But he said that the UK financial system was robust and could withstand any post-Brexit shocks.
Mr Fox told the paper that he had not thought the likelihood of no-deal was higher than 50-50, but the risk had increased.
The comments led to a decline in the pound on the currency markets and saw him labelled as “the high priest of Project Fear” by Leave-backing MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“I think the intransigence of the commission is pushing us towards no deal,” he said.
The government has been touting its plans for Brexit agreed at Chequers to the EU and its leaders, including the French President Emanuel Macron, whom Theresa May met on Friday. But Mr Fox claimed Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, had already dismissed the proposals, which “makes the chance of no deal greater”.
“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 wellbeing of the people of Europe then it’s a bureaucrats’ Brexit – not a people’s Brexit – then there is only going to be one outcome,” Dr Fox said.
Dr Fox said if the EU did not like the proposal, they should “show us one that they can suggest that would be acceptable to us”.
“It’s up to the EU27 to determine whether they want the EU Commission’s ideological purity to be maintained at the expense of their real economies,” he added.