TREASURY – BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS – 29 November 2017

Dr Julian Lewis: These negotiations remind me of the even more complex ones on arms reductions in the 1980s. Will the Minister bear it in mind that the lessons of those negotiations were, first, that too many one-sided concessions project an image of weakness and, secondly, that to get the very best deal, we often have to walk away first and wait for the other side to agree with us, come back, sit down and negotiate realistically?

[The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Elizabeth Truss): It is because we need to make sure that the European Union is aware we have alternatives that we are preparing not only for our preferred option of a transition period plus a long-term economic agreement, ​but for a no-deal scenario. The Opposition want to give that option away, so we would not be able to have that discussion with the European Union.]