EU has 'got to come to terms' with letting the UK gain independence, says Government minister

The EU must ‘come to terms’ with the UK leaving says Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as talks hot up.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The Foreign Secretary said the UK had worked "very hard" at a technical level during the recent negotiations in Brussels but argued that there needed to be political "willing" to secure a Brexit trade deal.

Mr Raab said the EU has "got to come to terms" with letting the UK gain independence.

He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "But actually, we've gone into this with a spirit of pragmatism, of optimism, good will and what we've just found in the last analysis and at the last stage the EU has found letting go of its control over the UK very difficult - I think emotionally and politically if you like, they've got to come to terms with that."

Mr Raab also warned that French fishing boats will have "zero access guaranteed" to the UK's waters if there is no trade deal.

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Asked about navy ships patrolling the waters, he said: "The bottom line is actually if we do leave on WTO terms we'll be an independent coastal state. Of course we're going to enforce our waters around fisheries and whatever else.

"And of course for the French and others, that will mean - you know, forget those outlandish terms that they were asking of us - their fishing industries would have zero access guaranteed."

It comes as Mr Raab said achieving a free trade deal with the EU "ought to be doable".

He said: "First of all, as you'd expect, I'm making the case that if the EU had followed through on its commitments we'd have a free trade deal. It ought to be doable."

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Mr Raab added that the Government "do want to get a deal if it's at all possible".

Asked if talks could continue into the new year if no agreement is found, the Foreign Secretary said he would not "speculate on hypotheticals", adding: "But the reality is for the EU, their point of pressure is now. After January 1, the idea that they are somehow going to win concessions later that they can't win now I think is for the birds."

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