Brexit Day: Iain Duncan Smith insists 'Britain has been unhappy in the EU for years'

Article 50: 'After the two year negotiations, further agreements will still need to be made', says Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith believes leaving is the right thing to do

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has suggested British people have been unhappy in the European Union for years - a claim which might not go down well with the millions of people who voted Remain last year.

On the day Theresa May formally triggers Article 50, Duncan Smith struck an optimistic note, and said anyone who is "slightly concerned" about the rights of EU nationals in Britain - and British nationals in Europe - after Brexit should rest assured all will be fine.

As Britain begins the process of leaving the EU, many people have been pessimistic about the country's chances of securing a good deal from Brussels, and suggested that Britain is far better in the EU than out.

But Duncan Smith, a prominent member of the Leave campaign last year, told Paul Ross that "the UK has for years and years been a semi-detached unhappy member of the European Union."

Although some have suggested Theresa May and her negotiators may end up with no deal at all - a situation which could leave Britain subject to punishing World Trade Association tariffs - Duncan Smith played down such fears, pointing out that Britain's influence within the WTO will actually increase once it quits the EU, and insisting that it's in the EU's interest to cut a deal with the UK.

As an example, he said "people who sell processed potatoes into UK supemarkets, chips and potato waffles from Belgium, Holland - it's in their interest that they actually continue to trade with the UK and they don't want to see barriers set up."

Turning to the issue of EU and UK migrants, he continued: "I have a sister who has lived her whole working life in Italy... so I fully understand people might be slightly concerned about this. 

“[However] nothing is going to happen that’s going to damage their interest [in other countries]. 

“I don’t think in any way shape or form, we’re going to have people suddenly leaving the country."

Listen to the full interview above