Philip Hammond says the United Kingdom will reject any “Blind” deal offered for Brexit.
Hammond added that this type of deal is increasingly all the E.U. sees as possible to come to an agreement.
No “Blind Brexit” Deal
The United Kingdom will reject “blind Brexit” deals offered by the E.U., said Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He also stated that the E.U. is increasingly seeing a blind Brexit as the only way to come to any kind of a deal for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the single market.
According to the Chancellor, that kind of compromise would simply not be considered acceptable. It would involve completely rejecting the Chequers proposals in favour of an agreement to a vague outline of a potential relationship for trade beyond Brexit. When Hammond was asked if the U.K. would be willing to accept a deal that would state only that the two sides would “work towards some sort of common rule book,” his response was to stand firm on an agreement based on the key components of Theresa May’s Brexit plan in order to agree.
“No, I think on something as central to the proposition we will need to spell out what it means,” said Hammond when addressing a House of Lords committee.
Contradicting Michel Barnier
Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, recently stated that if the U.K. is “realistic” in its aims, it would be possible to come to an agreement as soon as November. That said, Chancellor Hammond said he didn’t know to what Barnier was referring.
“I think I can confidently predict it will mean different things to different people,” said Hammond. “Clearly that will be an issue for the negotiations over the next few weeks.”
Following Barnier’s statement that he was seeking an agreement “within six or eight weeks” provided “we are realistic”, the British pound saw a sharp rise. Over the days that followed, it continued with a more modest increase.
Can a Blind Brexit be Avoided?
Hammond, while speaking to the House of Lords committee, did acknowledge that “Clearly we don’t have enough time to negotiate the full draft legal text in what will be quite a complex future partnership agreement.”
That said, he cautioned that there would need to be “enough detail” within an offered deal for the U.K. to be capable of understanding with clarity where the agreement is in place. Moreover it would need to be clear enough for “parliament to be able to take a view on the package as a whole.”