Brexit secretary David Davis has called for a ‘Canada plus plus plus deal’ with the EU on trade post-Brexit, citing the UK’s ‘complete convergence’ of rules and deeper ties.
After prime minister Theresa May struck an initial deal to advance negotiations to the second phase on Friday, Davis told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he wanted a trade deal sealed shortly after the March 2019 departure date.
In reality, that will be subject to debate with the 27 member nations and could take longer than he anticipates, but the Haltemprice & Howden MP insisted: ‘It’s not that complicated. It comes back to the alignment point. We start in full alignment, full convergence, so we can work it out from there.’
He pointed out that the UK’s economy is more than double the size of Canada’s and with the existing infrastructure in place, an ‘overarching trade deal’ should be attainable that more or less maintains the status quo.
‘All we want it a bespoke outcome. We will probably start with the best of Canada, the best of Japan and the best of South Korea,’ he said.
‘And then add to that the bits that are missing, which are the services.’
Putting the potential for a hard Brexit with no deal in the less likely category, he insisted the chances have ‘dropped dramatically’. However, he insisted the agreement so far is ‘non-binding’, much like the EU referendum, in an irony lost on him.