Iain Duncan Smith backs a Brexit deal contingent on a free trade arrangement

29th November 2017

Iain Duncan Smith says he would back a Brexit payment to the EU if it results in leaving the EU with a free trade arrangement which, as we are no longer paying contributions to the EU, will be a net gain.

I am not in favour of anything that is not legal, so I support my right hon. Friend completely. I am also in line with my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), in that whatever the legal agreement is, bound against the contingency of a free trade arrangement, it is exactly what the Government will set out to do. Will the Chief Secretary please remind those who have raised this question that even if we agreed a figure of something in the order of £40 billion over 40 years, because we will not be paying contributions to the European Union, it means that the UK Exchequer will be better off by £360 million in the course of those 40 years—a net gain, with a free trade arrangement?

My right hon. Friend makes a very fair point. Whatever happens, we will not be paying anything like what we would have paid as an EU member. That represents a considerable saving to the British taxpayer.

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