EU using ‘ridiculous fears’ about post-Brexit trade as ‘excuse’ for UK control, warns IDS

Brexit: EU has 'ridiculous fears' for after UK exit says IDS

The EU is “fearful of the UK becoming competitive” and “having an edge on them”, says Sir Iain Duncan Smith. The former Conservative Party leader warned talkRADIO that the economic bloc would be loathed to relinquish any “control” of Britain in a Brexit trade deal. This comes as both the EU and UK struggle to resolve key outstanding issues to secure an agreement before the transition period deadline.

Sir Iain said: “From the EU’s perspective, there are about two or three reasons why they’re scared.

“Number one – the UK is singularly their biggest, largest trading market, it’s also their most profitable.

“For example with cars, we can’t nip over to Brussels and buy a car because they drive on, I’d like to say, the wrong side of the road.

“We’re stuck so we pay higher prices for our cars than they do in the European Union.”

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He continued: “So it’s very profitable for them, we are the biggest market for them.

“In their terms, they’re very fearful of the UK becoming competitive, having an edge on them.

“Number two – they don’t want the rest of the world to look at this trade arrangement, and then say ‘aha the UK got away with that, why can’t we?’

“The third area which they’re worried about is that this may act as some kind of incentive for other countries who are upset concerning the EU bureaucracy to say ‘the UK did alright when they left, maybe we can do the same’.”

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The former Opposition leader added: “I think those are ridiculous fears by the way, but they are their excuses for doing it.

“I think it boils down to one thing, and it’s that the EU is obsessive about control.

“The reason they haven’t been able to strike a deal with the US is that they refuse to bend in their terms over a whole series of areas, and it’s all about control.”

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Boris Johnson arrived in Brussels yesterday for a face-to-face summit with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The two leader met in the hopes that a breakthrough could be reached on Brexit trade talks.

However, Downing Street have said that “significant obstacles remain” in talks with the EU.

They added that it is “unclear whether these can be bridged”.

A “firm decision about the future of the talks” is to be taken by Sunday.

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