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Express: ‘Not worth going on!’ Brexiteer urges UK to revert to WTO rules to stop EU foot-dragging

Date: 13 11 2017

‘Not worth going on!’ Brexiteer urges UK to revert to WTO rules to stop EU foot-dragging

THE UNITED KINGDOM should prepare to leave the Brexit negotiating table with Brussels if EU leaders continue to delay trade talks, Brexiteer Richard Tice said.

Mr Tice said urged the UK to prepare to revert to WTO rules soon if the EU attempts to postpone Brexit trade talks to 2018.

He said: “In business, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Yes, the EU wants to talk about money, we want to talk about trade. Time is very short.

“If we haven’t got confirmation from the EU that they are willing to start negotiating about trade and if we haven’t got a deal on an implementation period agreed by the end of March then actually we would be better to give certainty to everybody that actually we are going to do a different type of deal which is to go to WTO which is what most trading nations all over the world operate under.

Mr Tice said that without a “clear sense of direction” toward a free trade agreement with Brussels, Brexit Britain needs to start preparing for an alternative solution.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme ahead of a joint meeting between the CBI and its EU counterparts with Prime Minister Theresa May, the leading Brexiteer said European businesses need to ramp up the pressure on the EU to deliver a mutually beneficial deal.

He continued: “Everybody has got to get on with this. These European business groups, the message they need to take back to their governments, to take back to Brussels  is ‘you got to get on with it!’

“Either start talking about a trade deal or accept that everyone must get on. Start planning for a different type of deal.

“Urgent clarity is now required and the European business groups are in a very powerful position.”

Prime Minister Theresa May is thought to be considering improving the divorce bill offer after European diplomats told her £18billion (€20bn) will not be enough.

And sources close to the British negotiating team said talks are at risk of collapsing if Brussels refuses to take a more reasonable approach.

But Eurosceptics in the Conservative party said the divorce bill settlement is “critical” – and the UK cannot afford to concede even more ground.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told the Telegraph: “They think we blinked in Florence and now they believe we will blink again. We must not blink.

“The one big hand we have is money. They are desperate. If we give away that, we give away any chance of getting a good free trade agreement.

November 13th, 2017: Express