The UK appears set to crash out of the European Union without a Brexit deal due to the “intransigence” of the Brussels machine, Liam Fox has claimed.
The UK’s International Trade Secretary put the chances of a no-deal Brexit at “60-40” despite both sides saying they want to reach an agreement on the terms of the UK’s departure from the bloc in March 2019.
The prominent Brexiteer said he believed the risk of a no-deal scenario had increased, pinning the blame on the European Commission and Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
‘I’s up to the EU27 to determine whether they want the EU Commission’s ideological purity to be maintained at the expense of their real economies,’ Liam Fox said.
“I think the intransigence of the commission is pushing us towards no deal,” he told the Sunday Times.
“We have set out the basis in which a deal can happen but if the EU decides that the theological obsession of the unelected is to take priority over the economic wellbeing of the people of Europe then it’s a bureaucrats’ Brexit – not a people’s Brexit then there is only going to be one outcome.”
He said Mr Barnier had dismissed the UK’s proposals in the Chequers plan thrashed out by Theresa May and the Cabinet simply because “we have never done it before”.
The British Government has said its proposals are unprecedented, but Dr Fox said Mr Barnier’s response “makes the chance of no deal greater”.
The Prime Minister held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, cutting short her holiday to visit his summer retreat.