Tuesday 18 December 2018

UK foreign minister Jeremy Hunt urges EU: get serious in Brexit talks

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt

Alistair Smout

British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday that the European Union should end its blanket refusals of British proposals in Brexit talks, as any belief that Britain would capitulate was misplaced.

Hunt, who voted 'remain' in the 2016 referendum on EU membership, said that people in Britain were increasingly content to leave the bloc without a deal, a day after Prime Minister Theresa May said talks had hit an impasse and demanded new proposals and respect from EU leaders.

"If the EU's view is that just by saying no to every proposal made by the United Kingdom, we will eventually capitulate and end up either with a Norway option or indeed staying in the EU, if that is there view then they've profoundly misjudged he British people," Hunt told BBC radio.

"We may be polite, but we have a bottom line. And so they need to engage with us now in seriousness."

He also said;

  • If EU plans to say no to every UK proposal to force Britain to capitulate, they have profoundly misjudged
  • It is "absolutely right" that people in the UK are content to leave EU without a deal, even those who voted Remain
  • Trading on WTO terms with EU would be bumpy and difficult, but we've had bigger challenges in UK history
  • Don't mistake British politeness for weakness in negotiations
  • Britain understands EU red lines, it doesn't mean we have frictionless trade
  • We have not had a detailed response on the substance of the Chequers proposals

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