New Tory Brexit civil war as ministers warn they will NOT back ‘Swiss-style’ ties

Author: Yuvi November 20, 2022


The Tories descended into a fresh bout of Brexit wars today as ministers warned they would not back a push for ‘Swiss-style’ ties with the EU.

Government sources have been signaling that Switzerland’s relationship with the bloc could be a model for the UK over the next decade.

However, despite claims free movement would not return there are fears the UK could end up accepting EU law, paying into Brussels coffers and facing higher immigration.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay tried to pour cold water on the reports in the Sunday Times this morning, telling Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday programme: ‘I do not support that. I want to maximize the opportunities that Brexit offers.

Mr Barclay pointed out that Mr Sunak himself was a strong Brexiteer.

Tory MPs warned against a ‘betrayal’ of the 2016 referendum result. Former Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Conservatives are a ‘Brexit party’ and would risk becoming a ‘non-Brexit party’ if it agreed to ‘unfettered’ trade with the EU.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised eyebrows last week by saying he wants to remove trade barriers with Brussels as part of efforts to boost the economy.

Although he stressed that did not mean rejoining the single market, sources told the Sunday Times that Switzerland’s arrangements could be a model.

Downing Street sources rejected the claims.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay tried to pour cold water on the reports of a Swiss-style approach, telling Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday programme: ‘I do not support that. I want to maximize the opportunities that Brexit offers.

Senior figures in Rishi Sunak's government are said to be considering a Swiss-style deal - a report the government does not recognize

Senior figures in Rishi Sunak’s government are said to be considering a Swiss-style deal – a report the government does not recognize

Former Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said: 'This would be Brexit in name only ¿ it would basically take the teeth out of Brexit and does not even replace it with dentures'

Former Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said: ‘This would be Brexit in name only – it would basically take the teeth out of Brexit and does not even replace it with dentures’

The speculation emerged as the UK remains in deadlocked talks with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Switzerland and the EU have a close economic relationship based on a series of bilateral agreements, giving the country direct access to most of the EU’s single market – but without being in the customs union.

It accepts free movement of people, but the source told the newspaper they believed it would not be necessary for the UK.

Switzerland also contributes to Brussels budgets and accepts EU law.

One MP told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It didn’t take long for the mask to slip.

‘This is a total betrayal. The ERG [European Research Group of eurosceptic Tory MPs] must fight this tooth and nail.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘This would be Brexit in name only – it would basically take the teeth out of Brexit and does not even replace it with dentures.

‘If we did this, all the benefits of regulatory divergence would be lost. There would be no point trying to do trade deals around the world because we would have no regulatory flexibility and we would have no say over the rules.

‘The Conservative Party is a Brexit party and it cannot become a non-Brexit party.’

Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘The party wouldn’t wear this. If you’ve fought an Election to get out of the EU, you’ve won an 80-seat majority and you’ve won a referendum on it, there is no chance that this would be acceptable.

‘If the Government tried to do this the party would split both within the House of Commons and the country. It’s pure madness. Having said that, I’ve not heard a single person suggest it.

Former Brexit Minister David Jones condemned the plan as ‘100 per cent anathema to Brexit’.

Mr Jones added: ‘The fact is that Switzerland is involved in perpetual negotiations with the EU on every facet of market rules. We simply cannot accept that here.

Switzerland has access to the European single market, a deal on freedom of movement of people, and makes payments to the EU budget.

This was also an approach that Mr Johnson and Lord Frost, his chief Brexit negotiator, ruled out when they drew up the UK’s negotiating mandate in 2020.

Lord Frost told the Sunday Times: ‘Any approach requiring the UK to align with EU rules to get trade benefits, whether as part of a Swiss-style approach or any other, would be quite unacceptable.

‘Boris Johnson and I fought very hard to avoid any such requirements in 2020 and ensure the UK could set its own laws, and we should not contemplate giving this away in future.’

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, has signaled that Rishi Sunak’s administration intends to break from the approach adopted by Mr Johnson and remove the vast majority of trade barriers with the bloc.

In private, senior government sources have suggested that pursuing frictionless trade requires moving toward a Swiss-style relationship, the paper reported.

‘I think having unfettered trade with our neighbors and countries all over the world is very beneficial to growth,’ he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

‘I have great confidence that over the years ahead we will find outside the single market, we are able to remove the vast majority of the trade barriers that exist between us and the EU. It will take time.

Lord Frost said that the shift in policy would be 'unacceptable' after he worked in tandem to negotiate with the EU alongside Boris Johnson

Lord Frost said that the shift in policy would be ‘unacceptable’ after he worked in tandem to negotiate with the EU alongside Boris Johnson

The plan, designed to foster closer economic ties with the bloc, would represent a major break with the approach adopted by Boris Johnson.

The plan, designed to foster closer economic ties with the bloc, would represent a major break with the approach adopted by Boris Johnson.

His comments caused alarm among members of the European Research Group (ERG) who led the battle for Brexit.

The group also fears that the government is preparing to give ground to Brussels to resolve the disagreement over the Northern Ireland protocol.

A Downing Street source told the paper that Mr Sunak was ‘taking the fight’ to the EU but was also hopeful that a more constructive approach on both sides could bear fruit.

‘Rishi wants to get this sorted as quickly as possible; There’s definitely a deal to be done,’ a No 10 source said.

‘It’s our team’s sense that there is much more of a landing zone, in terms of what we would be happy with, than there has ever been.’

But they added: ‘He’s taking the fight to them. He’s not going to be giving up stuff that he and the party would not be happy with him giving up.’

20 November, 2022, 2:37 pm

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook

Sunday, 20th November 2022

More Stories
Next big Covid variant will be more deadly, according to new study of immuno-compromised patient
DNA Exclusive: Analysis of protests against Xi Jinping’s ‘zero Covid’ policy in China
Los Angeles city councilman says homeless crisis means children ‘step over needles, human waste’
Jay Leno, 72, HITS police car en-route to comeback stage performance
Tony Blair tells LGBT campaigners not to ‘disrespect’ World Cup hosts Qatar
New York’s Best Wine Bars
Idaho police say they are yet to corroborate whether one victim had a stalker.
US Team Distances Itself From Federation’s Decision to Alter Iran Flag
DAN WOOTTON: Xi’s sick and deranged Zero Covid policy destroying his country is finally crumbling
Forensic scientist reveals he used PIG SKIN to test theory about Jeremy Bamber case
Fat cat parking bosses rake in DOUBLE the PM’s £164K salary while slapping record fines on motorists
The fans screamed for Qatar. Their passion hid a secret.
Forecasters Warn of Tornado Threat Across the South
Elon Musk shows off his bedside table
Jill Biden unveils White House Christmas decorations
Cardboard Has Taken Over Our Lives. Where does it come from?
Sympathy, and Job Offers, for Twitter’s Misinformation Experts
Twitter hack sees 5.4 MILLION phone numbers and email addresses leaked on the dark web
Organ Donations Spike Around Motorcycle Rallies
Obsessive stalker who targeted Claire Foy is told he faces deportation after he entered UK illegally
Woman kidnapped as a toddler in 1971 finds family 10 minutes from where she grew up in Fort Worth
Youngest of Walmart mass shooting’s six victims was 16-year-old honors student
Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii Erupts for the First Time in Nearly 40 Years
Iranian journalists hijack World Cup press conference to ask US players of
Crypto Lender BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy as FTX Fallout Spreads
Buffalo Gunman Expected to Plead Guilty Today in Racist Attack
Bridgend baby deaths: Police arrest three and cordon off home after shocking discovery
IFFI: Megastar Chiranjeevi was awarded the Indian Film Personality Award
Tanning addict who used sunbeds WHILE battling cancer details ‘excruciatingly painful’ treatment
What next for I’m a Celeb jungle stars? Jill Scott
Kashmir Mahajani signed for Nushrat Bharuchha’s ‘Soori 2’
National Grid could activate emergency winter plan to PAY homeowners to use less power TOMORROW
Abdu Rozic receives backlash from fans for defaming Shalin Banot!
Yuzvendra Chahal turns ‘coolie’ for Dhanashree Verma in Shikhar Dhawan’s new film – watch
Scientists genetically modify a tobacco plant to produce COCAINE in its leaves
Bigg Boss 16: Tina breaks down on birthday, ugly split at nomination task!
Meghan Markle’s low-key Thanksgiving! Duchess prepared lunch for 300 homeless women in Los Angeles
Monkeypox will now be called ‘mpox’, announces WHO citing ‘racism’ concerns
Single father-of-2 breaks down as strangers offer to pay for food after he admits he ‘can’t take it’
Cocaine ‘super-cartel’ fronted by British drugs lord busted with 49 arrested across Europe and Dubai
Georgia Andriani finally opens up about wedding plans with Arbaaz Khan, ‘not really looking…’
Meta Fined $275 Million for Breaking EU Data Privacy Law