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Brexiteer admits ‘Australia-style deal’ term designed to ‘pull wool over voters’ eyes’

Radio presenter James O'Brien - Credit: LBC

A Brexiteer has been accused of “unintentional honesty” after he told a radio presenter that he believed the term “Australia-style” was designed to “pull the wool over voters’ eyes”.

Trying to explain to James O’Brien why Boris Johnson was not using the term “no-deal Brexit”, caller Alastair said that it was just a continuation of “rhetoric” to explain the future trading arrangements after Brexit if an EU trade deal does not materialise.

“Why don’t they just tell the truth?” asked O’Brien. “It’s not an Australia-style arrangement, Australia has free-trade agreements with all of its neighbours around the Pacific Rim, it’s already opened up negotiations with the European Union to have a free-trade agreement, and it does the bulk of its export with China. So we’re nothing like Australia, why do they lie to us still?”

O’Brien added: “Australia already has exemptions in place with the EU and they opened free-trade negotiations in June 2018. So we’re nothing like them, why do they keep lying to you?”

But the caller insisted he did not feel lied to. He said the UK had opened negotiations with the EU “four years ago”, only for the presenter to point out that Johnson had closed them again.

Pressed on what an “Australia-style arrangement” with the European Union would mean for the UK, the caller said it means “there are no arrangements outside WTO [World Trade Arrangement] rules”.

A baffled presenter enquired: “So an ‘Australia-type arrangement’ and your answer is ‘there is no arrangement'”.

The Brexiteer was asked why they why the government does not refer to an “Afghanistan or Monogolian-style deal”.

The caller was then accused of falling into the same trap as Alok Sharma earlier on the same radio station with his answer.

“Because not all voters understand exactly what it means, and of course, the wool is being pulled over their eyes”.

It prompted O’Brien to point out: “You can keep talking Alastair, but you’ve just done an Alok Sharma, it’s designed to pull the wool over voter’s eyes… 

“It’s not designed to pull the wool over people’s eyes if they said it’s a ‘no-deal Brexit’, that wouldn’t be pulling the wool over people’s eyes. 

“Thank you for your unintentional honesty, you and Alok Sharma are like two peas in a pod.”