Closing the ports and halting flights after a no deal would be ‘crass and counterproductive’ Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab warns Brussels
- Raab told Tory conference Britain was negotiating a Brexit deal in good faith
- But he said the country was ready and prepared to walk away without a deal
- He said Brussels was unlikely to take ‘crass and counterproductive’ steps
Dominic Raab today warned Brussels not to take the ‘crass and unproductive’ step of effectively cutting Britain off from Europe after a no deal Brexit.
The Brexit Secretary said the EU was unlikely to take steps that would be self-damaging even after an acrimonious collapse in talks.
But speaking to the Tory conference in Birmingham he insisted Britain was right to get ready for all eventualities.
Dominic Raab (pictured in Birmingham today) warned Brussels not to take the ‘crass and unproductive’ step of effectively cutting Britain off from Europe after a no deal Brexit
The Brexit Secretary (pictured making his keynote speech in the Symphony Hall today) said the EU was unlikely to take steps that would be self-damaging even after an acrimonious collapse in talk
Mr Raab told Tory activists Britain was negotiating in good faith but would only compromise so far in pursuit of a deal.
His warnings come a day after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt controversially compared the EU to the Soviet Union and suggested it was trying to imprison Britain.
Mr Raab told conference: ‘Some people say that No Deal is unthinkable. Wrong.
‘What is unthinkable is that this government or any British government could be bullied by the threat of some kind of economic embargo, into signing a one-sided deal against our country’s interests.
‘When it comes to no deal, we’ve heard some lurid predictions from the prophets of doom.
His warnings come a day after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictured running in Birmingham today) controversially compared the EU to the Soviet Union and suggested it was trying to imprison Britain
‘They claim planes will be grounded. That ports will be blocked.
‘Let’s have some common sense here. Why on earth would any of these things happen unless someone decided to make them happen?’
Mr Raab said even if there was not a comprehensive deal he would ‘find it hard to believe’ Brussels would punish Britain for ‘narrow political ends’.
He said: ‘(Would they) seek to punish Britain in such a crass and counterproductive way? Threatening European as well as UK businesses and jobs?
‘And if I’m wrong, it’s hardly an attractive argument for those suggesting we should stay in the club.’
Mr Hunt made a striking comparison of the EU to the USSR as he delivered a stark message that the UK would ‘fight’ if Brussels tried to block a fair divorce deal.
He insisted the EU must learn the lessons of history and not try to keep countries in line with dirty tactics.
The combative comments came in a speech to party conference in Birmingham that fuelled speculation Mr Hunt sees himself as a future leader.
But while they were warmly applauded by activists in the hall, they caused anger in some EU states.