David Davis says government should ‘take advantage’ of coronavirus to get Brexit deal

PUBLISHED: 11:34 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 01 May 2020

David Davis listens in the House of Commons, London. Photograph: PA.

David Davis listens in the House of Commons, London. Photograph: PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Former Brexit secretary David Davis has urged the government to “carry on” with a Brexit deal during the coronavirus crisis, saying that the government can ‘take advantage’ of the economic uncertainty.

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Davis made the claim on LBC radio with Nick Ferrari, arguing the EU were “lunatics” if they did not accept British demands for a no-tariff, no-quotas-style trade deal.

He said: “What the European Union should do, if it has any sense at all, is to go for the option we are talking about of which is no tariffs and no quotas.

“You’d have to be a lunatic to put tariffs and quotas on under the current economic circumstances so now is the time to do it. That is what we should do.”

He said prolonging negotiations would create more uncertainty for UK businesses: “The one time, apart from what’s happening now, that we had an economic downturn since the [2017] election was when we delayed departure.

“The uncertainty made all the businesses, even though claiming they didn’t want to leave, suffer. You don’t want to change that. You don’t want to have another level of uncertainty.”

The UK has ruled out seeking an extension to Brexit transition period, which ends on December 31. Recent talks in April failed to reach a breakthrough, causing the EU to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

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