The Defence Select Committee chair Tobias Ellwood has warned that the current model of Brexit is “not going as well as it could do” for the UK. Rishi Sunak has ruled out a Swiss-style relationship with the EU to try and improve economic ties with the bloc, with Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick telling Sky News that the Government was “going to stick with the relationship that we’ve secured”.
Switzerland enjoys benefits such as access to the single market and and fewer checks on many goods as it is a part of the Schengen common travel area, which it pays some money towards.
The Tory MP for Bournemouth East spoke on Peston about alternative Brexit models that could work better for Britain.
He said: “My personal position is that nobody wants a second referendum, and every time I dare to say something on this I get accused of perhaps going down there.
“But you know, newsflash, this model of Brexit is not going as well as it could do and people in Britain are now saying that.
“I hope that we have the courage, in the same way that we’ve addressed which way the economy is going, we’re addressing which way our defence posture is looking, why not actually take a look and see whether there’s a better model of Brexit?”
Mr Ellwood shared his views also on the supposed “Swiss model”, adding: “I actually make it very clear, I think the Swiss model is not for us.
“It’s very very complicated, that stuff that was in the Sunday Times.
“But we have a couple more years to recognise our closest, largest trading partners are there.
“Can we do something which is better economically, now we’ve got the political distance from Brussels, which I think is what the entire nation wanted, and indeed what was delivered by the Conservative party.”
In last week’s Sunday Times it was reported that the Cabinet were considering modelling Brexit after the Switzerland-EU association, however it is thought a closer economic relationship to the bloc would anger more hardline Brexiteers.
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reportedly suggested that the Sunak administration would seek to remove the majority of trade barriers with the EU.
Government sources have insisted that this would not extend to freedom of movement.
One said: “It’s obviously something the EU would never offer us upfront because they would say you are trying to have your cake and eat it but the reason I think we will get it is because it is overwhelmingly in the businesses interests on both sides.”