Chris Grayling 'convinced' of tariff-free trade deal after Brexit

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at 2016.10.23
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Chris Grayling 'convinced' of tariff-free trade deal after Brexit

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 1:33pm

A Cabinet minister has said he is “convinced” Britain will have tariff-free trade with the EU post-Brexit because it is in the interests of both sides.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling also played down concerns a troubled trade deal between Brussels and Canada casts doubt on the UK securing an agreement after leaving the bloc.

Frantic efforts have been under way to salvage the EU-Canada trade pact, which has been seven years in the making, after the proposals were blocked by a regional administration in Belgium.

The hold up has been caused by the parliament in Wallonia, although the region’s leader has indicated the impasse could be resolved within days.

Backers of Brexit and those against have both highlighted the protracted negotiations to support their own positions.

:: Brexit – Has Britain left the EU yet?

Mr Grayling, a prominent Leave campaigner and Tory MP, argued Britain’s relationship with the EU was different because it is the union’s most important export market.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: “Nobody in continental Europe benefits from a reduction in the ability to trade with the United Kingdom.”

He said the UK bought a “whole load of produce” from farmers in Belgium’s Wallonia, so it would not be in their interests to see tariffs imposed.

Mr Grayling added: “This is why I have always been convinced we will have tariff-free trade, we will have sensible trading arrangements, because it is in both our interests that that should happen.”

Speaking on Sky News’ Murnaghan programme, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron suggested his party’s surge at the Witney by-election was down to anger at Theresa May’s approach to Brexit.

He said: “Democracy means that you don’t impose a deal that none of us know what it looks like and as we are seeing day by day, could end up being potentially catastrophic for everybody in this country.

“You don’t impose a deal on the British people without them having their say and I accept the referendum result, however narrow, in June gave the Government a mandate to negotiate our exit from the European Union.

“It did not give them a mandate to impose upon the British people something they didn’t vote for.

“I came across many people in Witney who had voted Leave in June and voted Liberal Democrat last Thursday because they are very angry that Theresa May is imposing upon them an exit from the single market which will damage their jobs, their businesses, make their local shop prices and petrol prices go up and so on.

“That should not be imposed on them. What started with democracy in June should not end up with a stitch-up.”

Sky News (c) Sky News 2016: Chris Grayling ‘convinced’ of tariff-free trade deal after Brexit

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Published at Sun, 23 Oct 2016 11:40:32 +0000

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