UNITED KINGDOM: Rishi Sunak has established a red line for any fresh initiatives aimed at enhancing post-Brexit trade with the EU and has put down a mutiny among incensed Tories. However, he has left the door open for future ties with Brussels.
The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, was singled out for criticism by No. 10 insiders, while the prime minister rejected ideas that the UK should pursue a Swiss-style partnership with the bloc. A top business executive referred to the controversy as a “sideshow.”
Sunak on Brexit
In his first response to the uproar, Sunak emphasized his pro-Brexit credentials as someone who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum and emphasized the importance of maximizing the “enormous benefits and opportunities” of leaving the EU.
Sunak emphasized the importance of having “regulatory freedom” to deviate from EU standards and underlined that this advantage would not be given up in any upcoming negotiations to try to lower trade barriers with Brussels.
Later, No. 10 stated that the two were “absolutely” in agreement over the Brexit strategy and reiterated that preserving the UK’s ability to negotiate trade deals and terminating freedom of movement were also red lines.
Sunak’s ability to put an end to the uprising that had grown over the weekend was demonstrated by David Frost, the UK’s former Brexit negotiator, who called it a “welcome and reassuring” response.
The UK might attempt to convince the EU to simplify customs procedures or address the “asymmetry” of border controls, according to Jill Rutter, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government, but she cautioned that Brussels will fight back against any perceived “cherrypicking.”
The CBI chief encouraged Sunak to put more effort into resolving the dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol.
Despite Dankin’s urging Sunak to be “pragmatic” about the assistance an increase in foreign workers might provide, the prime minister stated he wanted to first concentrate on re-establishing public confidence in the immigration system given the volume of people being smuggled across the Channel.