Brexit trade deal warning: Ambassador branded 'gloomy pessimist' over 10-year claim

UK EU ambassador branded 'gloomy pessimist' after Brexit trade deal warnings


Thursday, December 15, 2016

A prominent Leave campaigner has branded the UK's ambassador to the EU a "gloomy pessimist" after he warned the Government a trade deal with the EU could take 10 years to iron out.

Former minister and prominent Leave campaigner Dominic Raab insisted Britain would strike a deal with Brussels in a much shorter timeframe, blasting Sir Ivan Rogers for suggesting it could take years for an agreement to be ratified by all 27 EU member states. 

Raab called Sir Ivan a "scarred" figure in an interview with the BBC. 

He said: "He was the diplomat who persuaded David Cameron to dilute his ambitions for renegotiation, one reason why the referendum was lost. So he has been scarred by his own past pessimistic advice.

"Let's not be consumed by Sir Ivan's gloomy pessimism, let's get behind the Government, let's set out the case for a strong, post-Brexit relationship."

A No 10 spokesman denied Sir Ivan's claims, telling the Press Association: "It is wrong to suggest this was advice from our ambassador to the EU.

"Like all ambassadors, part of his role is to report the views of others. We don't recognise this.

"The Government is fully confident of negotiating a deal to exit the EU that works in the interest of both the UK and the rest of Europe."