Brexit negotiations will be better after Boris Johnson's election success, former Minister says

17 December 2019, 07:50 | Updated: 17 December 2019, 07:54

Brexit negotiations will be "much more rational and sensible" after Boris Johnson's election success as he holds greater power, says former foreign secretary Sir Malcom Rifkind.

The former foreign secretary said that neither the UK government nor the EU know if the Brexit deadline is "short a time or not" to negotiate a deal.

"They might even manage to finish the negotiation during the course of next year," said Sir Malcolm Rifkind, "unlike every other trade negotiation the EU has had with any other country in the world, in all these other cases they were starting miles apart with totally different tariffs and quotas and systems.|

He said this negotiation is starting with "100% common features" so the issue would be if at some stage in the future the EU or the UK want to change their position within the deal.

However, he continued, it's not nearly as difficult "as the kind of negotiations the EU had with Canada or Japan or the United States."

Boris Johnson's election success means Brexit negotiations will be  "much more rational and sensible"
Boris Johnson's election success means Brexit negotiations will be "much more rational and sensible". Picture: PA

Sir Malcolm posited that the success of Boris Johnson in the election "gives him much greater authority" and has meant "it is going to be a much more rational and sensible negotiation because the EU know the United Kingdom government has a large majority in Parliament and is going to be in power throughout the period in question.

"That's actually in the best interest of both sides of the negotiation," he said and also believes the EU don't have any interest in prolonging the negotiations for the sake of doing so.

The former foreign secretary also pointed out that while it is not unwise to commit to his Brexit deadline, he should not rule out the possibility of going beyond that if the negotiations are not quite finalised; "the idea that you arbitrarily bring them to a stop on a date that you yourself have chosen is not the way that Boris Johnson in reality would act."

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