Rishi Sunak does not believe Brexit is 'in peril' despite calls from EU chief Ursula von der Leyen for it to be reversed

29 November 2023, 14:58 | Updated: 29 November 2023, 15:20

Rishi Sunak does not believe Brexit is "in peril"
Rishi Sunak does not believe Brexit is "in peril". Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Rishi Sunak does not believe Brexit is "in peril" despite the EU chief calling for it to be reversed to "fix" the problem.

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European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said "the direction of travel" was clear for the UK.

She called for the younger generation to "fix" the mistake of Brexit after it was "goofed up".

When asked if Mr Sunak agreed, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: "It’s through our Brexit freedoms that we are, right now, considering how to further strengthen our migration system.

"It is through our Brexit freedoms we are ensuring patients in the UK can get access to medicines faster, that there is improved animal welfare. That is very much what we are focused on."

The return of former prime minister David Cameron as Foreign Secretary and his call for the UK to be a "friend, a neighbour and the best possible partner" for the EU caused unease among some Brexiteers.

But the PMs press secretary insisted that he believed in Brexit "passionately".

Read more: Nigel Farage lists three Brexit benefits during heated I'm A Celebrity clash with Fred Sirieix

Read more: Soaring migration 'not a betrayal of Brexit', Michael Gove tells LBC, as he insists Govt will drive down numbers

It comes after Ms von der Leyen told Politico: "I must say, I keep telling my children: ‘You have to fix it. We goofed it up, you have to fix it.’

"So I think here too, the direction of travel - my personal opinion - is clear."

She said the Windsor Agreement on Northern Ireland, which was agreed earlier in the year, was "a new beginning for old friends".

Labour has said that it will rewrite the post-Brexit trading deal if it wins a general election.

The party insisted Britain will not be a "rule taker" if it negotiates a new deal.

But the EU is expected to demand the UK align with EU rules in return for an agreement.

Lord Cameron met European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, who leads on Brexit matters for the bloc, in Brussels on Wednesday.

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