“Let me be unequivocal about this (…) The UK will not seek any relationship with Europe that is based on alignment with EU laws“, Rishi Sunak told a conference of the country’s main employers’ organization in Birmingham.
“I voted for Brexit. I believe and know that Brexit can and does bring significant benefits and opportunities for the country“, he added, citing the resumption of immigration control by the United Kingdom since leaving the EU, or the trade agreements signed with other countries.
This defense of Brexit comes the day after press reports that London would seek to strengthen its ties with Brussels, three years after leaving the European Union.
According to the Sunday Times, “government officials plan to put Britain on a path to a relationship similar to Switzerland’s with the European Union“. An initiative that would be “designed to strengthen economic ties“with the European Union.
On Sunday, a government spokesman had already denied such a plan, calling the article “categorically false“.
On Monday, Secretary of State for Immigration Robert Jenrick also insisted that the UK now has “a well-defined positionon its relations with Brussels, with the EU exit agreement concluded in 2019.
Under the deal, the UK exited the single market, although trade continues to be largely duty-free, ended freedom of movement and no longer contributes financially to the EU.
“These core principles are the ones that will govern our relationships in the future.“, claimed Mr Jenrick on Sky News.
Comments made last week by Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt, who said he wanted to see “the large majority“Abolished customs barriers between his country and the EU have also raised questions about the government’s intentions among the ranks of Eurosceptic conservatives.
The current economic and financial difficulties in the UK are leading to growing criticism of the effects of Brexit, as the body responsible for economic forecasts (OBR) estimated last week that Brexit had had “a significant negative impacton the country’s trade.
According to a YouGov poll, 56% of Britons now believe Brexit was a mistake.