EU has 'genuine problems' understanding UK is becoming sovereign nation - Tory MP

9 December 2020, 21:03

By Fiona Jones

Conservative MP Dr Liam Fox attributes the lack of progress in Brexit talks to the EU having "genuine problems understanding that Britain is going to be a sovereign nation again."

The former international trade secretary told LBC the EU wants the UK to continue aligning with their laws and standards if any trade deal is struck.

The idea is a red line for Boris Johnson as he lands in Brussels for last-ditch talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The Prime Minister today insisted that a "good deal is there to be done" with the EU in this 'last supper', despite negotiators making "no tangible progress" in official talks.

If Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen agree on a way forward on Wednesday the two negotiating teams will meet later this week to attempt a last-minute trade deal.

But if the pair do not find a solution to the current impasse the UK is likely to crash out of the EU without a deal on January 1 next year.

Dr Liam Fox told LBC the EU wants to keep UK aligned to its laws
Dr Liam Fox told LBC the EU wants to keep UK aligned to its laws. Picture: PA Images

Dr Fox argued that some of the UK's interests are actually aligned with the EU's, such as state aid to companies.

"They don't want us to have too much state, well let me tell you - as a Conservative I don't want to have too much state aid," he said.

"We're trying to stop China having more state aid, so clearly our objectives are the same - the question is how you achieve those."

He explained how the EU was requesting "dynamic alignment" on laws - something the PM hopes to draw a line under after the talks on Wednesday night.

"In other words - if the EU changes its laws we also have to change ours or face a penalty," he explained.

"That's not acceptable."