Blog: Rishi Sunak rules out any new EU trade deal that undermines Brexit freedoms – The Independent

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Rishi Sunak has rejected any move to rebuild damaged trade with the EU that would undermine the UK’s freedoms, insisting Brexit is “delivering” for the country.

Speaking to the CBI conference, the prime minister was asked how he would deliver on the chancellor’s claim that the “vast majority” of barriers – blamed for a 15 per cent plunge in trade – can be removed.

Jeremy Hunt’s comments have alarmed many Tories, despite the government rejecting suggestions that it will pursue a closer “Swiss-style” agreement with Brussels.

But Mr Sunak insisted: “Let me be unequivocal about this. Under my leadership, the UK will not pursue any relationship with Europe that relies on alignment with EU laws.”

The prime minister pointed to control of borders and new trade deals, claiming: “Brexit can deliver, and is already delivering, enormous benefit and opportunities.”

He also rejected the CBI’s call for fixed-term visas to allow businesses to bring in more overseas workers to plug labour shortages – insisting his priority is to curb illegal, cross-Channel migration.

The British people must have “trust and confidence that the system works and is fair” before a wider conversation about immigration, Mr Sunak told business leaders.

more to follow

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