Prime Minister Theresa May has said that a no-deal Brexit “would not be the end of the world’ and that the government was putting preparations in place to make it a success.
Speaking as she arrived in Africa for her first trip to the continent as Prime Minister, Theresa May repeated claims made by Roberto Azevedo, head of the World Trade Organisation, that a no-deal Brexit “would not be the end of the world”.
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May told reporters in South Africa: “Look at what the director general of the World Trade Organisation has said. He has said about the no-deal situation that it will not be a walk in the park, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
“What the government is doing is putting in place the preparation such that if we are in that situation, we can make a success of it, just as we can make a success of a good deal.”
May arrived in South Africa on Tuesday for a three-day trade mission to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
‘That’s not a very high bar!’
Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary retweeted the Prime Minister’s comment with the words: “That’s not a very high bar!”
On Sunday Starmer had warned that no-deal Brexit could create “a legal vacuum”.
He said the government has “barely scratched the surface” of what would need to be done to prepare the UK for a no-deal scenario, and there was a serious risk of an “unsustainable legal vacuum”.
This follows as Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg and 60 colleagues have signed the letter, which describes the Prime Minister's Brexit Chequers compromise as the "wrong deal for Britain".
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It states the UK "does not need to do a deal with the EU", but the bloc "needs to do a deal with us at all costs".
In the letter, leaked to the Telegraph, Rees-Mogg said: "The Government would be wrong to be fearful of Britain enjoying an independent future. Theresa May's Chequers proposals would shackle us to the EU forever.
"We would be out of Europe yet still run by Europe. This is why the Prime Minister should 'chuck Chequers' and instead seek a Canada-style free trade agreement with the EU to make the most of the global opportunities that lie ahead.”