Daniel Hannan SLAPS DOWN BBC host over suggestions UK should remain in customs union
CONSERVATIVE MEP Daniel Hannan slapped down BBC Newsnight host Evan Davis over suggestions the UK should remain inside the customs union following Brexit, stressing it would be the worst possible outcome for the country.
The politician noted the UK would have no possibility of striking its own free trade deals with other nations around the world, and would not be able to set its own trade policy despite being subservient to Brussels.
He said: “That would be the absolute worst case outcome, being out of the EU, but in the customs union.
“It would mean that Brussels controls 100 per cent of our trade policy with zero input from us into what that trade policy should be.”
Mr Davis however pointed to Article 50 of the Joint Report, signed by the UK in December 2017, which states “in the absence of agreed solution, the United Kingdom will ensure that no regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK”.
Mr Hannan rejected the idea of the UK’s continued membership of the customs union as being a solution to the ongoing issue surrounding the Irish border.
He instead pointed to a comprehensive free trade deal, saying: “If the UK and the EU signed a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement where we recognised each others standards, that would be the way of obviating a border.”
He also took aim at the EU saying: “The delay in negotiating that is not on the UK side.”
Mr Hannan acknowledged compromise was essential in the Brexit negotiations, stating: “There should be compromise; it was a narrow vote, we should be looking at which EU programmes to remain in.”
He however firmly rejected the notion of remaining in the customs union, saying: “It is absolutely the worst case scenario, it is not like having a medium burger because half the country wanted it well done and the other half wanted it rare.
“It’s like throwing the burger away and eating the napkin.”
Mr Hannan went so far as to suggest it would be better for the UK to remain a member of the EU, rather than being a member of the customs union outside the EU.
Referring to the situation in Turkey, he replied: “The only country in that situation is Turkey, and they hate it, and they are always moaning about it.
“They only agreed to do it as a step to membership.”
“Why are we asking for a worse deal than Norway has?”
The Eurosceptic politician concluded the only reason why people were demanding for the UK to remain a member of the customs union was because they wanted the country to obtain a bad deal, as they saw this as a means of reversing the referendum.