Piers Morgan has challenged the government over what type of Brexit deal it is looking to achieve at the end of the transition period.
The Good Morning Britain presenter was interviewing Alok Sharma when he asked about the differing definitions of the trading relationship the UK wants with the European Union.
“If you get a No Deal come January 1, are you going to go on the record now and say you believe a No Deal Brexit will be good for this country and will work?
“Lets set a two-year time limit, so after two years, if it fails, will you take the lead along with entire cabinet and offer your resignations for selling this country a pup?”
Sharma replied: “So Piers, let me address that, this issue directly. Of course, we are looking to negotiate this Canada-style deal with the EU -“
“Hang on, hang on. Sorry, is it Canada? Is it Australia?” snapped back Morgan.
“You say Canada which is interesting because Boris Johnson, in the last 72 hours, has described it as an Australian-style deal.”
“Well, that would be if we got no-deal,” clarified co-presenter Susanna Reid.
Morgan continued: “When that got thrown back he then described it as a World Trade Organisation deal, now you’re throwing up Canada. Which kind of deal are we actually going for here?”
“So, let me explain this – and I will answer your previous point if you let me,” replied Sharma.
“We have been doing a negotiation with the EU on a Canada-style basis; zero tariffs, zero quotas. Of course, if we do not reach that agreement, we will go to Australia-style terms and WTO and we’ve also been very clear, we are confident as a country we will prosper under that arrangement.”
Reid meanwhile asked about the ‘oven-ready’ deal which was meant to give UK business certainity.
She said: “The prime minister promised at the general election that he had an ‘oven-ready’ deal, which has frankly taken four and a half years of preparation to get as far as we have got – which is still teetering on the edge of No Deal
“What do you say to businesses who are shouting at the government: ‘What on earth are we supposed to do on January 1?’”
Sharma responded: “In terms of businesses, I think you will have seen some of the response that came out after the prime minister said we would continue to have the discussions, we will go this extra mile and we owe that to businesses and people in the country”.
“Because they’re desperate for a deal!” Reid shouted back.
“The reaction from businesses has been positive, they want us to keep going, the want us to reach this Canada style deal, which we’ve always said we wanted – zero quotes, zero tariffs,” continued the minister.
“But, of course, I completely understand businesses want to have some certainty, they want to prepare for the end of the transition period.”