UK politics - direct: Steve Barclay will not 'support' Swiss-style Brexit deal with EU

Health secretary Steve Barclay said he did not recognize reports that Britain would seek a Swiss-style deal with the European Union.

It follows reports that senior figures in Rishi Sunak's government are considering moving the UK toward such a relationship with the bloc in pursuing frictionless trade amid a soaring cost of living crisis.

The former Brexit minister told the Sophy Ridge program on Sunday on Sky News: “We have a prime minister who supports Brexit. I did it myself and became Brexit secretary, and worked very hard to maximize our control over our laws, our borders and our money.

“So it's really important, especially in high-growth sectors, like financial services, life sciences and the green industry, that we actually use the Brexit freedom that we have.

"So, I don't recognize this story at all."

Asked if he could support a Swiss-style relationship, he said: "Yeah, I don't support that. I want to maximize the opportunities that Brexit has to offer.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hinted last week that the Sunak administration intends to break with Boris Johnson's approach by removing most trade barriers with the bloc.

Labor will not propose a return to the single market, said Ashworth

Labor does not want Britain to rejoin the EU single market, says shadow jobs and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth.

He added that Labor would not adopt a Swiss-style relationship with the EU, which the Government is reportedly looking at.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday's program on Sky News, Ashworth said: "We're not proposing going back to the single market or customs union, or anything like that.

“But we want to negotiate a bespoke deal for the UK, so our business can export, so we can get agreements on those farms, so we can work together on security issues.

“But we are not proposing that we just adopt the Swiss proposal, which the government seems to be looking at right now.

“Of course, we need to fix this deal. Of course, we need to make Brexit work, because the oven-ready deal that was promised to us, this grand deal, didn't work the way Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson told the British people it would.

Cabinet ministers warned he would not support a closer Swiss-style relationship with the EU

A cabinet minister has warned he would not support a closer Swiss-style relationship with the European Union following reports that the government is considering putting Britain on such a path.

Steve Barclay, the health secretary, instead suggested ministers should focus on maximizing what he said were the chances of Brexit.

Asked about reports that plans for frictionless trade with Europe would necessitate a move to the Swiss model over the next decade, Barclay said: "I don't support that".

Our Whitehall editor, Kate Devlin, has this great story:

It's important to 'really use the Brexit freedoms that we have', said Steve Barclay

Barclay faces Brexit 'difficulty'

Steve Barclay has acknowledged that since Brexit there has been "difficulty" with "greater friction" over trade.

Asked on Sky News whether Brexit would be bad for UK trade, he said: “What I'd say is you have to look at the issues in terms of Brexit in the round.

“There are areas where there are difficulties in terms of greater friction and we want to work constructively with EU partners on that.

“But, equally, there are very significant opportunities as a result of Brexit.

"I don't think we would have done the vaccine rollout like we did had we remained a member of the EU and the significant regulatory opportunities we had, and the fall statement signaled our determination to take them." This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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