Brexit: UK 'absolutely ready' for no deal scenario says Hancock
There are just 10 days now until the UK leaves the transition period with the EU. Four and a half years after the 2016 referendum, Britain will finally break free from Brussels.
Deal or no deal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed the UK will be no longer be tied to the bloc’s rules from January 1.
But Baroness Gisela Stuart of Edgbaston, one of the most prominent eurosceptics during the Brexit campaign has warned the end of the transition period will not spell the end of talks with the EU, even if a deal is signed.
The Chair of the official Vote Leave campaign, who rallied voters alongside Mr Johnson, has levelled with people there will be plenty of negotiations with the EU to come.
The veteran parliamentarian, who joined the House of Lords earlier this year, said after 40 years of being within the Brussels bloc, once Britain is freed the two sides will spend years forging a new partnership together.
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She told Express.co.uk: “This is just the beginning of a long period of the UK and the rest of the EU defining the future of their relationship.”
The former Labour MP, who represented the constituency of Edgbaston from 1997 until 2017, said while she remained hopeful a trade deal would be agreed by the end of the year, it would likely be revisited in future.
She added: “I can see why for Boris Johnson he may argue, look there are some things that are just more important to get right now than other we can look at in the future.
“I agree with him there.
“The biggest stumbling block for the EU is not what’s on the table now, it’s how they think it will play out in the future, so it’s now a totally political decision.
“Practically there is nothing that stands in their way.”
Despite the current deadlock plaguing negotiations in Brussels, Baroness Stuart remained optimistic a trade deal would be agreed between the UK and EU.
She said: “I still hold high hopes we will get a deal, I think it’s in the interest of both sides to get a deal.”
Last week Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove also levelled with voters, warning a trade deal was not the end of the Brexit process.
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He told a Parliamentary select committee regardless of whether or not a trade deal is struck, bilateral negotiations will continue.
He said: “Of course it’s the case there will be, as there would be between any set of neighbours, conversations”.
The warning from Baroness Stuart comes despite the Prime Minister promising 2021 will be the year the country will finally be able to move on from the EU referendum.
He has said he wants to focus on his levelling up agenda from 2021.
In the General Election last year Mr Johnson promised to “get Brexit done” and improving the infrastructure and life opportunities for Brits across the UK.
He said in a victory speech outside Downing Street after securing his historic majority: “We are going to unite and level up.
“Unite and level up, bringing together the whole of this incredible United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
“Together, taking us forward, unleashing the potential of the whole country.”
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