The minister denies that the government is seeking closer ties with the EU

British Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Sunday dismissed press reports that London was seeking closer ties with Brussels, three years after leaving the European Union.

According to the Sunday Times, “government officials plan to put Britain on the path to a relationship similar to Switzerland’s with the EU“. An initiative that would bedesigned to strengthen economic tieswith the EU, according to the newspaper.

I don’t recognize this story at all“, responded Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Sky News television, who was the minister responsible for Brexit between 2018 and 2020. “We have a Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak, note) who supported Brexit. Like me“, he declared.”It is really important that we use the freedom that Brexit gives us. (…) I want to maximize the opportunities that Brexit offers“.

According to Sunday Timesthis measure, which, the paper points out, would be very unpopular with Conservative MPs in favor of a hard Brexit, could be introduced in the next decade with the aim of reducing current trade barriers.

It’s obviously something the EU would never offer us out of hand because they’d say you’re trying to get the butter and the butter’s money, but the reason I think we’ll get it is that it’s in both financial interest. parties“, a source would have explained Sunday Times.

“Take time”

On Thursday, Rishi Sunak said Britain must “take timeto negotiate good trade deals with its partners in the wake of Brexit, in contrast to its predecessors’ desire to conclude such deals quickly.

Since the United Kingdom left the EU, it has had to terminate trade agreements and has notably concluded some with the EU and other European countries, but also with New Zealand, while discussions are ongoing with India, Canada or the United States.

But the ruling Conservatives have recently drawn criticism over a deal signed last year with Australia, accused of increasing Australian imports of beef and lamb to the detriment of British producers.

According to a poll published by the YouGov institute on Thursday, support for Brexit is at an all-time low, with just 32% of Britons saying it was right to vote to leave the EU and 56% saying it was a mistake.

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