Minister of Finance defends trade agreement with the EU

Eurosceptic conservatives were upset that senior members of the government were working to regain access to the European single market.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has defended Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, describing it as “excellent” on Wednesday for the Danish Parliament’s committee on the Ministry of Finance. He also denied being the source of press leaks that Downing Street was considering the possibility of joining the single market through a relationship like that between the EU and non-EU Switzerland.

Eurosceptic Tories were moved by an article in the Sunday Times which claimed on Sunday that senior members of the government were working to regain access to Europe’s single market. Jeremy Hunt was cited as the source of this information because he publicly admitted that the Brexit deal (TCA) signed by Boris Johnson, former prime minister and architect of Brexit, had created trade barriers with Brussels.

On Wednesday, he shouted before the finance committee: “I have never supported or considered any agreement that would deviate from the ATT”. However, he added that“removing physical barriers to trade like what is happening at the Franco-Swiss or Swedish-Norwegian border, perhaps in a way that is relevant under the Northern Ireland Protocol, that has been my public position for some time now”.

Significant benefits for the country»

Monday, in response to the controversy generated by the Sunday Times article in the United Kingdom, especially among BrexiteersPrime Minister Rishi Sunak had already defended Brexit, but increasingly unpopular with the British public, especially in business. “Let me be clear about this. Under my leadership, Britain will not seek any relationship with Europe based on alignment with EU law.”Rishi Sunak, an early pro-Brexitist, told a conference of the CBI, the country’s main employers’ organisation, adding that Brexit “Already brought significant benefits and opportunities to the country“.

The UK left the single market at the start of January 2021, five years after the Brexit vote, although trade remains largely tariff-free, stopping free movement and no longer contributing economically to the EU. EU. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but maintains privileged relations with it through several bilateral agreements and is notably associated with the EU’s single market, the Schengen Agreement, while making payments to EU member states.

On Wednesday, Jeremy Hunt also said the government’s energy subsidy would not be extended beyond spring 2024, even as gas and electricity bills remain high. According to him, this support will cost the government £80 billion this year and likely “half next year“. “We’re going to need everyone involved in solving this problem if we don’t want a huge additional burden on taxpayers, which would ultimately lead to high taxes that are not desirable.”he declared.

Asked about the political instability in the United Kingdom, where three prime ministers and four finance ministers have seen three in one year, he pointed out that his budget presented last week focused on austerity, increases in taxes and spending cuts aimed at “bring back economic stability and economic political coherence”.


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