Brexiteer: 'Two years? I could negotiate Brexit in just 10 minutes!'

PUBLISHED: 11:29 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:42 21 November 2018

Peter Lilley appears on a past BBC Radio 4 Today programme. Photograph: BBC.

Peter Lilley appears on a past BBC Radio 4 Today programme. Photograph: BBC.


An outspoken Brexiteer has said that new Brexit negotiations should only take 10 minutes to agree - before he accused the BBC of being pro-Remain for disproving his claims.

The former deputy leader of the Conservative party Peter Lilley claimed that it was possible for Theresa May to change her stance in a very short space of time.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme that free trade deals “normally take years” because of a difference in tariffs.

“But we start with zero tariffs, we should end with zero tariffs, tell me how that could take more than 10 minutes to negotiate?”

While rules and regulations would be more difficult he believed it was possible to soon find a resolution.

He said: “We start with identical rules and regulations. How can that take very long to end up with identical rules and regulations?”

Even BBC’s John Humphrys appeared unconvinced by his ideas, citing the concerns from CBI who say that investment is flooding out of the country.

Liley responded: “Can you tell me an instance where the CBI has ever been right?”

The programme’s ‘reality check’ reporter Chris Morris was even less convinced by his argument.

He said: “Lord Lilley’s basic point in his report, many of the problems ascribed to leaving the customs union are imaginary and most of the rest are exaggerated.

“I think it is fair to say the vast majority of trade experts and freight companies certainty that I have talked to would disagree with much of that fairly robustly.

Lilley hit back: “You are supposed to be a reality check, not an arguer for Remain!”

The pair appeared to descend into an argument, with the fact checker asking the Brexiteer not to interrupt him as Lilley insisted the reporter was “getting it wrong.”

Humphrys was forced to intervene, telling the pair: “Please calm down - it is usually people saying that to me!”

Nigel Farage has also claimed he could deliver the government a “simple” trade deal - but said because Number 10 are not talking to him he will not write down the detail.

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