BREX-HIT TIME Iain Duncan Smith urges Theresa May to get punchy in talks with EU as experts predict '4,000 jobs' for UK FORMER Work and Pensions Secretary urged Theresa May to remember the strength of her hand in Brexit negotiations
Former Work and Pensions Secretary urged Theresa May to remember the strength of her hand in Brexit negotiations
THERESA May has been urged to pursue an aggressive line in Brexit negotiations as former Cabinet Minister Iain Duncan Smith declared “Europe needs us”.
The ex Work and Pensions Secretary urged the PM not to forget the strength of Britain’s hand during talks.
Theresa May has been urged to pursue an aggressive line in Brexit negotiations as Britain is ‘in a strong negotiating position’
It follows reports Home Secretary Amber Rudd does not want to use the UK’s world class terrorism expertise as a negotiating chip during Brexit negotiations.
He said: “We are leaving the European Union and we are in a strong position and we should behave like that.
“Europe needs us and we keep forgetting that they need us. They need us for a whole range of reasons, on security and because we’re their main trading partner.”
Duncan Smith encouraged May to drive a hard bargain, claiming Britain was in a strong negotiating position because Europe needs us for trade
Tory MP and Brexit campaigner Anne Marie Trevelyan added: “The Prime Minister has every right to be confident in our negotiating position as formal Brexit talks begin.
“The UK is the EU’s largest trading partner, we are Europe’s financial centre and our security services are relied upon by our European allies to keep their citizens safe.
“We may hear a lot of sabre-rattling from the EU over the next few months, but the reality is that it is in their interest to strike a deal which works for both the UK and EU.”
Tory MP Anne Marie Trevelyan said May had ‘every right to be confident’ in her ability to negotiate a good Brexit deal
Their comments were echoed by Tim Martin, boss of pub chain JD Wetherspoon, who insisted Britain would thrive outside the constraints of the EU.
He urged Mrs May and Brexit Secretary David Davis to “speak softly” but “carry a big stick” in the negotiations.
He said the options were simple – to say we will operate under World Trade Organisation rules or strike free trade with the 27 other EU countries.
The multimillionaire businessman added: “We will make more money under WTO rules because we will benefit from the tariffs.
“What you have got to be prepared to do – and this is the golden rule – is you have got to be prepared to walk away.
“We know where we are going, we are leaving the European Union to trade and co-operate with our friends and allies.”
JD Wetherspoon chief Tim Martin said May shouldn’t be afraid to walk away from trade negotiations as Britain could operate under WTO rules
It came as analysis showed up to 400,000 new jobs could be created by new trading opportunities if Britain leaves the customs union.
Pro-Brexit group Change Britain said quitting the customs union would allow Britain to forge trade deals across the world.
Experts suggested free trade deals with countries who have already indicated an interest in signing an agreement could create over 240,000 jobs.
That figure could rise to almost 400,000 if Japan and the south-east Asian bloc also sign free trade agreements with the UK.
Quitting the European customs union would open up trade and create over 400,000 jobs, campaign group Change Britain has said
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Change Britain founding supporter and former CBI boss Lord Digby Jones said: “The UK has a rich history as a great trading nation.
“It is therefore no surprise that a number of major economies have already expressed an interest in striking free trade agreements with us.
“The only way we can make the most of these huge opportunities is to leave the EU’s customs union and take back control of our trade policy. This will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in a range of industries right across the UK.
“We can then take our place as one of the global champions of free trade.”
Change Britain founder Lord Digby Jones said the UK could be a global champion of free trade after Brexit
A Department for International Trade spokesman said: “The Government is determined to make a success of Brexit.
“That’s why it’s right to take time to work out the best options for the UK’s trading relationship after we leave the European Union.”
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