Iain Duncan-Smith admits the ‘difficult’ bit of Brexit is still to come

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith speaks in the House of Commons. Photograph: House of Commons.

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith speaks in the House of Commons. Photograph: House of Commons. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Brexiteer Iain Duncan-Smith has admitted that the next steps of Brexit is the 'most difficult phase of all' of the process.

Despite his leader claiming he had got Brexit 'done' and had reached the 'finish line', newly-knighted Duncan-Smith said what happens next will be 'difficult'.

He told talkRADIO: "It's not just about making trade deals. This next phase is in many senses going to be the most difficult phase of all."

He is the latest politician to wake up to the reality that now we are in a transition period the UK's influence at the EU will dwindle.

"In this period we are subject to European law but we have no vote.

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"This is a period when if the EU wants to and wants to try to be awkward and difficult it could start trying to impose laws on us which we have no say over."

Duncan-Smith said that the UK must "settle this, one way or another, inside the next 12 months" despite the European Union warning it could take longer.

He said Johnson needed to resolve it by the end of 2020 to avoid "exposing ourselves for any long period of time to the idea that we are without any protection whatsoever against imposed law".

Duncan-Smith said that Britain would have to "up our game way past where we've been at the moment" to strike a trade deal with the EU.

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He admitted the EU were "rather good at them", and suggested that the UK may have to look further afield in case talks break down.

It feels like talk of an "oven-ready" Brexit deal "ready to go" is now a long time ago...

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