Hilary Benn: Boris Johnson deserves no credit for 'thin' Brexit deal

Hilary Benn

Hilary Benn on BBC Breakfast - Credit: BBC

The chair of the Commons Brexit Committee Hilary Benn has said he has “no doubt” parliament will approve a "thin" Brexit deal if one is brokered before January 31 - but says Boris Johnson deserves no praise for it. 

He told BBC Breakfast: “The alternative is no-deal and that really doesn’t bear contemplation at all because of the damage it would do to the economy.

“What any deal is going to do is to make the consequences of Brexit for business less bad than they would otherwise be.

“Remember this is the first trade deal in history where one party has gone in knowing it will come out with worse arrangements than it went in with.”

He added: “I think not just over the next week but over the next few months, as Brexit actually happens… there are going to be big changes anyway from January 1 whether there is agreement or not and regardless of what’s in the agreement…

“Over time we will become more aware of what we can’t now do because we’ve taken it for granted.”

Benn added he does not believe the prime minister deserves credit if he manages to secure a deal.

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“I’m afraid I don’t give Boris Johnson any credit at all, because I campaigned for Remain, I still think Brexit is a bad idea for the country economically and in terms of our influence in the world.

“This will be a thin deal, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever, and in time people will see the consequences.”

He added the prime minister has “finally learned” that the consequences of a no-deal Brexit would be “disastrous”, as negotiators edged closer to securing an agreement.

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