How Close Are We To A Deal? A Trade Negotiator Explains

1 October 2019, 13:28 | Updated: 1 October 2019, 14:39

A former negotiator for the Department of International Trade told Nick Ferrari that there's no evidence to suggest we're close to reaching a Brexit deal.

David Henig, who is the UK Director at the European Centre for International Political Economy, told LBC that he's "not very optimistic" about a deal being reached soon.

Nick Ferrari asked about the possibility of an extension being blocked by an EU member state, ensuring that the UK would leave without a deal on October 31st.

Henig responded: "That's correct but I don't see any chance that the extension will be blocked because, ultimately, the member states will side with Ireland in preventing No Deal happening.

They certainly don't want to be blamed for No Deal."

How Close Are We To A Deal? A Brexit Expert Explains
How Close Are We To A Deal? A Brexit Expert Explains. Picture: PA

He added: "This all feels quite desperate on the part of the UK government. If they were confident that a deal would be reached, they wouldn't need an extension to be blocked.

I think they're just trying to push every button in the hope that one of them brings a result."

Henig then said: "There's no evidence we're seeing that we're close to a deal.

"I think it will become clear in about two weeks time whether all the talks have led towards a deal."

If, as Henig believes, an extension was offered - how long would it be?

He said: "We have no idea how long an extension would be ... three months, five months?"

He concluded that it is "possible a deal would be reached but I think it's unlikely?"