Brexit: Theresa May budget plan is just common sense, says Iain Duncan Smith

Brexit: 'EU wants a deal as it is deeply unpopular with WTO and would be criticised', says Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith says the EU wants a deal

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Iain Duncan Smith has told talkRADIO Theresa May's approach to Brexit budget is just "common sense."

Duncan Smith, a fomer Tory leader and prominent Brexiteer, was speaking to Sam Delaney after May said £250 million will be reserved this financial year for Brexit - a declaration which apparently contradicts Chancellor Philip Hammond's suggestion that it is imprudent to set money aside for a 'no-deal' eventuality.

Many have criticised May for the apparent contradiction, but Duncan Smith said this is  not "an emergency no-deal fund... many of these arrangements are arrangements you’re going to have make anyway because you’re going to have to be changing the way you run your borders, checking business and industry."

But he believes "the European Union does not want to be sitting in Geneva with the WTO, where they are deeply unpopular and where the WTO itself have some fairly critical remarks to make to them."

Turning to Hammond's talk of a 'no-deal Brexit', Duncan Smith said the Chancellor is naturally cautious and he isn't particularly concerned about what he says. 

He added: "I think we will end up discussing trade arrangements well before Christmas, and the key thing is to make sure they happen."

However John Peet, political editor of The Economist, argued "we do need to make arrangements for all kinds of outcomes for these talks, but I think to go around saying no deal is fine and lets revert to WTO terms... I think that’s just risking the worst possible outcome."

He thinks "Brexit with no deal would be the most damaging form of Brexit" and "the bargaining power is almost entirely on the side of the Europeans."​

Listen to the full interview above