Matt Hancock has cautioned that the European Union must withdraw ‘unreasonable demands’ on the British government if a last-minute Brexit agreement is to be achieved.
MPs have indicated that if they are to be able to ratify it before the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec. 31, they need to see the terms of a deal by Sunday night.
In the U.K. The Secretary of State for Health emphasized that he wanted the talks to reach a “a positive conclusion,” but said that the EU was not able to negotiate.
Speaking on Sunday’s program at Sky News’ Ridge, Hancock said, “Unfortunately, the EU has made some unreasonable demands.”
“I’ve looked at some of the details of the EU’s demands – they’re unreasonable, they don’t respect the referendum result.”
Trade talks post-Brexit continue, with another deadline approaching
Hancock pointed out that the EU has not changed its position on a level playing field, which he stated are ‘rules on how governments implement subsidies,’ and that fisheries problems remain.
“He added, “I’m sure that an agreement is feasible, but it requires action on the part of the EU, of course.
He said, “I am an incredibly pragmatic politician and I want to see an agreement, but I also think that the EU’s demands are unreasonable and that they cannot be accepted,”
“We need to see that movement from the EU side and I very much hope they take the necessary steps so we can get a deal done and we can all move forward.”
Asked if by Sunday night an agreement could be made, Hancock said, “I think we should keep talking and get to a deal.”
He added that a no-deal scenario “is not an outcome I want to see,” but emphasized that “absolutely ready for it.” is the British government.
He added: “Otherwise, we’re ready for an Australian-style outcome if that’s what it takes.”
Lisa Nandy, Shadow Foreign Secretary, said Labour “would be ready” to accept a Brexit deal, but said the British government had to “get its act together.”
“Ms. Nandy said on the same broadcast, “We will be prepared to help it, but we don’t know what’s going to be in it. First, we want to see the deal.
“We don’t trust the prime minister to come back with a deal that is in the national interest, but we have always said we think a deal is absolutely necessary and no deal would be a disaster,” she said.
We hope that in the last 11 days, the government gets its act together and gets a deal done—so that people will not wake up in the midst of a global pandemic on Jan. 1 with all the uncertainty that a no-deal Brexit will bring.
Ms. Nandy added that “facing up to the realities that lie ahead.” is now about Brexit.
“The option of a second referendum is gone, we left the European Union, we left in January,” she said.
“We need to move forward, we need to end the disunity and division that has held the country back over the last few years.”