UK Wants Bespoke Brexit Trade Deal, Not a “Canada” Style Agreement, Say Phillip Hammond

By DFID – UK Department for International Development [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Philip Hammond, the British Chancellor, has rejected the idea that Britain will develop a Canada-style trade deal with the European Union, saying that a bespoke Brexit arrangement was more possible.

This morning, Hammond gave the comments at a press conference during an official visit to China. He was flanked by Ma Kai, the Chinese vice premier, and Shi Yaobin, the Chinese vice finance minister.

Shi gave the government of Britain a vote of confidence by saying that China believes that a Brexit deal that is satisfactory for both sides can be agreed upon.

On Friday, leaders of the European Union agreed to move Brexit discussions onto future trade arrangements. As part of the said deal, Britain will remain in the single market, customs union, and under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice during a two-year transition period after the EU withdrawal of the country in 2019.

Ken Clarke, the former chancellor, supported the plans, informing BBC Newsnight on Friday that the United Kingdom must not “go off a cliff edge.” Clarke warned against the catastrophic impact of withdrawing from the European Union in March 2019 while trade and customs discussions were not yet finalised.

However, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Brexiteer, warned that the latest terms placed the United Kingdom in a “ridiculous position” of becoming a “colony” of the European Union during the two-year transition period.

“The transition which the EU is offering means that we’re still effectively in the European Union for the following two years,” Jacob Rees-Mogg told Newsnight.