Dominic Raab thinks we can get a better deal with the EU by crashing out without one
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The new foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said that the United Kingdom can get a better deal with the European Union by crashing out without one.
Raab said it would be "much easier" after a no-deal Brexit after it was put to him by BBC Radio 4's Mishal Husain that the problems with the existing deal would still re-emerge if it tried to negiotiate again with the European Union.
He said: "Whether we get a deal before the end of October or whether that's not possible because the EU sticks very stubbornly to its line, we will want to put the relationship on a firmer footing.
"It will take both sides to show the pragmatism, the flexibility to make that happen.
"But I think it will be much easier, for example, to deal with the backstop issue in the context of a free trade agreement than it would under the current arrangements, which are so undemocratic.
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"So actually although there will be risks on all sides of this [from a no deal Brexit], I think the prospects of reverting and getting a good deal for the UK will be easier after we leave, if that's the case, and the reason being is we will do so as an independent third country and we will be less subject to, effectively, the demands and unilateral dictates of the EU as we are now."
Raab also claimed that Vote Leave had always acknowledged that the United Kingdom could leave without a deal.
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He said: "The mandate certainly wasn't to leave the EU if the EU let us, it was an in out referendum, and we made clear, those on the campaign, that we should strive for a good deal but, if that wasn't available, that we should go on and make a success of Brexit."
Anti-Brexit campaigners accused Raab of bringing "unicorn-chasing" back into the cabinet.
Naomi Smith from Best for Britain said: "The new foreign secretary has all the diplomatic grace of a broken wheelie bin. How does he think a no-deal Brexit, which would cause huge harm to both us and the EU, lead to anything positive? It would signal a low point in our relationship with the continent.
"The British people need a pragmatic not a posturing government. Stopping Brexit, and the incredible waste of time and money that comes with it, is the most pragmatic option for the country."
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