A former Brexit Party MEP claimed she is a “proud European” as she rejected the need for a trade deal with the EU.
Claire Fox, who was promoted to the House of Lords by Boris Johnson earlier this year, said she was “an enthusiast about the European continent” as she fobbed off the importance of clinching a trade deal with the bloc.
Asked why Brussels should seek a deal with Britain during an appearance on LBC radio, Fox replied: “Well, they don’t need to.
Clarifying the difference between the terms “EU” and “Europe”, the Brexiteer said: “Despite what’s been said, I’m a proud European. I am an enthusiast about the European continent and I’ve never believed in little Britain.
“We’re talking about a trade deal and the difficulties in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement. Lots has been written about it and I think it’s not the end of the world if there is no trade deal for the EU, for the UK.
“I don’t think Barnier or the EU are acting like they’re going to get a trade deal but my suspicion is there will be one. I just don’t want one at any cost and I fear that as Brexit was never about trade, it was about sovereignty, that to get a deal, Boris is going to betray sovereignty.”
This comes as Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said there had been “progress” on trade talks.
Addressing a crowd of reporters, the EU leader said: “After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress now we’ve seen in the past days better progress, more movement on important files and this is good.”
She said there was “still a lot of work to do” before the end of year deadline. Meanwhile, EU insiders have hinted that Brussels could offer Britain a Brexit lifeline by ratifying an agreement after the end of the transition period to avoid the chaos of a no-deal scenario.
Responding to Fox’s remarks on Twitter, @IanPounder1 wrote: “Fox is right. Brexit isn’t about trade deals. It’s about lack of trade deals.”
Fox is right. Brexit isn't about trade deals. It's about lack of trade deals.
— Ian Pounder Do Gooder Mask Wearer (@IanPounder1) November 19, 2020
Miek Benjamin posted: “Never about trade, never about the economy, never about the economic wellbeing of citizens but everything to do with the political philosophy of a small bunch of very wealthy individuals who will not be affected by the shit show that is about to strike.”
“Deals are all about both parties agreeing to abide by certain common directives but the UK don’t want to be told what to do because of so-called ‘sovereignty’,” followed up Glyn Washington.
Deals are all about both parties agreeing to abide by certain common directives but the uk don’t want to be told what to do because of so called ‘sovereignty’
— Glyn Washington (@GlynWashington1) November 19, 2020
“What nonsense, so the other 26 nations in the EU don’t have sovereignty? This is all about little Britain, the empire gone, trust from other nations gone, we are seen now as unreliable corrupted cheats,” wrote Mark Stacey.
2016: We'll be better off the EU and doing our own trade deals. Much better off.
— The Earl of Sked #FlattenTheCurve (@CyberHibby) November 19, 2020
Some backed Fox’s remarks.
@PeterTaffy tweeted: “We didn’t vote for a deal, we voted to leave!”
@DJJDLove wrote: “A deal cannot be at cost of red lines of sovereignty, laws, borders, money or fish and the union. #NoDeal on #WTO gives us an advantage on all of these hence no deal is the best deal.”