Iain Duncan Smith: UK now ‘much stronger’ in Brexit trade talks

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Iain Duncan Smith has said the power between the EU and the UK is shifting in post-Brexit trade negotiations as ministers prepare for the next round of talks.

It comes after Downing Street dismissed a demand from European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for Britain to “make up its mind” on what kind of deal it wants.

The UK has insisted that it has already fully set out its position.

It is expected to table a legal text setting out its vision for a free trade agreement before the discussions continue on March 18.

Ms von der Leyen said “we know what each side is standing for” but later claimed that the UK needed to think about the economic trade-offs it was willing to accept if it breaks away from EU rules.

But Mr Duncan Smith told talkRADIO that the EU’s calls for clarity were “signs of weaknesses”.

He said that since Boris Johnson won his landslide 80-seat majority in last year’s general election, it is “finally dawning on the EU” that the government will “for the most part get whatever it wants done”.

The former Conservative Party leader added that having negotiations take place in the UK rather than Brussels will “put the power back in London’s hands”.

“These things do matter because at the end of the day your power and potency in a negotiation is a matter of lots of different things and one of them is a demonstration that we are different from what we were,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

“We were very weak before, we’re now much, much stronger and it is Europe I think that is somewhat more weak.”

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