Ahead of the delegation meeting with Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator for Brexit, John Longworth, Co-Chair of Leave Means Leave said: 

“I am grateful to Mr Barnier for agreeing to meet our delegation. 

“I will use this opportunity to make it clear to Mr Barnier that the British people will not exchange their newly won freedoms for a trade deal with the EU.  

“Crucially, this means that the UK will have the economic and regulatory freedom for our businesses to thrive. 

“The EU must accept that in the event that a transition period is required, it will be both limited in its coverage and fixed in its length and an FTA must be agreed before the transition begins. 

“The speed at which negotiations are taking place must be intensified. If the heads of terms on the FTA are not agreed by mid-2018 – the UK Government will have no option but to postpone any trade negotiations and revert instead to global rules of trade under WTO in order to provide assurance and stability to British businesses. I have no doubt that Britain will thrive with or without a trade arrangement with the EU so long as the Government leverage our newly won economic freedoms. 

“I am concerned that the EU’s negotiating team is looking increasingly out of step with the mood of many of the EU27 national governments who recognise the importance for their own economies that a free trade deal is reached with the UK. I will urge Mr Barnier to ensure that this is rectified and reflected in future negotiations.”