Swiss-style Brexit deal rejected as ‘ridiculous notion’ – poll

Brexit: Reopening debate is 'last thing we need' says Fox

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The UK should not renegotiate Brexit and form a Swiss-style agreement with the European Union, a new poll of readers has found. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out a post-Brexit relationship with the EU “that relies on alignment with EU laws”, despite speculation to the contrary.

He told the CBI conference in Birmingham on Monday: “I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit. I know that Brexit can deliver, and is already delivering, enormous benefits and opportunities for the country.” 

He added that the UK has the opportunity to establish trade deals with “the world’s fastest-growing economies”, with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Mr Sunak’s rejection of claims to align Britain to EU rules comes after The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that senior government figures were considering a Swiss-style deal.

Ministers have denied the claims and Downing Street sources have rejected it as “categorically untrue”, stating that regulatory freedom was a significant opportunity of Brexit.

In response to reports, ran a poll from 10am on Monday, November 21, which eneded at 3:30pm on Tuesday, November 22, asking readers their thoughts on the Brexit deal. First, we asked: “Should the Brexit deal be renegotiated?”

In total, 7,704 people responded with the vast majority, 67 percent (5,123 people) answering “no” the UK’s deal to leave the EU should not be renegotiated. A further 31 percent (2,423 people) said “yes” in favour of renegotiation, while two percent (158 people) said they did not know.

Then asked readers: “Would you back a new Swiss-style agreement with EU?” Some 7,747 people cast their votes with an overwhelming 80 percent (6,212 people) responding “no” against a Swiss-style agreement. Whereas 19 percent (1,431 people) said “yes” they would, and a further one percent (104 people) said they did not know.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers took part in a lively discussion on the Brexit deal.

The majority of readers argued that the deal should be scrapped rather than renegotiated, with username FlippityGibbit writing: “Renegotiate no deal, and walk away!”

Similarly, username nonelicencepayer said: “No deal is the best deal. We didn’t vote for a deal.”

Another, username BrueTrit, wrote: “SCRAP THE WHOLE DEAL! We voted to LEAVE the EU!!”

While username rabey added: “Absolutely, NO. Just get Brexit done as we voted for, not some halfway house.”

And username uncivilservant said: “No, the deal should not be renegotiated, it should be scrapped. The whole country out of the EU as one United Kingdom and keep the UK out of the single market, out of any form of a customs union, and end the role of the European Court of Justice as per the 2016 referendum and the 2019 Tory manifesto.”


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Other readers argued against a Swiss-style arrangement, which would allow selective access to the single market but require contribute to the EU budget and the UK to follow some regulations.

Username virginiapinkn writing: “Nobody backs a swiss style agreement with the EU…ridiculous notion.”

Username Britishguy71 said: “NO, NO, NO…can we be more clear? we want NOTHING to do with Brussels. We want to trade yes, do we need all the fluff and we are in charge and you must abide by our laws, red tape and rules, NO!!! We do not need any deal that dilutes our own laws or earned trading freedoms.”

Username Milly_Jones said: “When voted and won the right to leave the failing EU it meant taking back control over our own money/laws/border/fisheries. Most certainly did not mean being dragged back in.”

And username General Sir Jerimiah Ponsenby Creamslice VC & Bar added: “Anything with the EU will have strings attached all over it. So no no no. The rest of the world seems to trade without the ECJ.”

Many Brexiteers spoke out about the alleged plans over the weekend, with former Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay rejecting the report and telling Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “We’ve got a Prime Minister who himself supported Brexit. I myself did and was Brexit Secretary, and worked very hard to maximise the control of our laws, our borders and our money.”

Asked about his views on a Swiss-style relationship, he said: “Well, I didn’t support that. I want to maximise the opportunities that Brexit offers.”

Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash criticised the concept, slamming it as “completely absurd”. He explained: “It is inconceivable that we will consider a Swiss-style deal. The Swiss absolutely hate it. They have resisted subjugation to the EU. This is a completely absurd idea. They have been harassed and bullied by the EU for decades.”

Meanwhile, former Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “The general direction of travel will be towards a relaxation of relations between the UK and EU which is long overdue given recent tensions. But the UK will never be in a Swiss-style agreement with the EU.”

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