PM dismisses claims of ‘Swiss-style’ deal with EU as Tories remain on the brink of Brexit civil war

20 November 2022, 18:30 | Updated: 20 November 2022, 18:34

Rishi continues to deny the Tory party are divided over Brexit deal
Rishi continues to deny the Tory party are divided over Brexit deal. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has today dismissed claims the government want a 'Swiss-style' deal with the EU, as sources describe a Tory party on the brink of Brexit civil war.

Labelling the rumours “categorically untrue”, Sunak continues to deny claims the UK could soon be seen to accept EU laws including higher levels of immigration, in a deal similar to that adopted by the neutral European nation.

It comes as Downing Street continues to quell rumours of political division, with a Government spokeswoman saying: "This Government is focused on using our Brexit freedoms to create opportunities that drive growth and strengthen our economy."

It also follows Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s attempts to dispel the rumours following reports in the Sunday Times, as the UK remains in deadlock with the EU over the issue of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Read more: Labour will 'abolish the House of Lords' to 'restore trust in politics' under Sir Keir Starmer

Read more: Cop27 climate deal 'is not enough', UK warns - although rich nations agree to pay for poor countries' climate disasters

Downing Street spokespeople continue to deny the claims of a 'Swiss-style' agreement
Downing Street spokespeople continue to deny the claims of a 'Swiss-style' agreement. Picture: Alamy

Speaking to Sky News' Ridge on Sunday programme, the MP said: “I do not support that. I want to maximise the opportunities that Brexit offers.”

The Health Secretary also continued to point out that the PM has long been a Brexiteer.

It also stands in stark contrast to the view of former PM Boris Johnson's chief Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, who told the Sunday Times: "Any approach requiring the UK to align with EU rules to get trade benefits, whether as part of a Swiss-style approach or any other, would be quite unacceptable."

It follows claims from former Tory cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, who said his part would risk becoming a "non-Brexit party" if it agreed to “unfettered” trade with the EU.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay attempted to quell the rumours on Sunday during an interview
Health Secretary Steve Barclay attempted to quell the rumours on Sunday during an interview. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Switzerland currently has a close relationship with the EU through a series of bilateral agreements, which allow the neutral nation access to the single-market without joining the customs union.

It also accepts decisions made in Brussels including budgets and EU law.

It comes as the government spokesperson continued: “Brexit means we will never again have to accept a relationship with Europe that would see a return to freedom of movement, unnecessary payments to the European Union or jeopardise the full benefit of trade deals we are now able to strike around the world.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Misery for holidaymakers as 4,000 flights grounded by IT outage that sparked chaos, and recovery 'could cost billions'

Christina Sandera and Clint Eastwood in 2018

Clint Eastwood's partner Christina Sandera dies aged 61, as 94-year-old Hollywood icon gives poignant tribute