Businessman claims Sunak’s Brexit deal boosts single market chances
Boris Johnson criticises Sunak’s new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland
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Businessman Juergen Maier told BBC Question Time that he was optimistic about Britain’s economic future following Rishi Sunak’s deal with the European Union. Earlier this week, Mr Sunak unveiled a revised deal for Northern Ireland alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Mr Maier heralded the deal and praised the Prime Minister for “rebuilding” trust with the European Union, following tense relations under Liz Truss and Boris Johnson.
However, in an alarming prediction for Brexiteers, the former Chief Executive of Siemens UK claimed that Northern Ireland’s access to the EU single market could be replicated across the mainland UK.
In a bid to promote his deal, Mr Sunak had claimed Northern Ireland is in an “unbelievably special position” because the deal gives it access to both the UK and European Union markets, creating “the world’s most exciting economic zone”.
Responding to this, the British-Austrian industrialist told the BBC panel show: “I think we have moved forward.
“I think there is a possibility to have conversations and deliver what has been delivered in Northern Ireland.
“We can have a sensible conversation about England, Scotland, and Wales having the same privileges as Northern Ireland.”
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He continued: “I don’t know of a single exporting business that believes diverging from the EU regulations makes sense.
“What that does is it creates more cost, it creates more bureaucracy, that’s what we have learned since we left the EU.
“We’ve got red tape coming out of our ear holes as businesses.
“Let’s continue the new chapter as the PM called it, and have an honest conversation about the alignment of regulation and being close to the single market, and having proper frictionless access like we were promised originally.”
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He had earlier remarked that Brexit has been “far from the promises that were made, and the three years we have been through have been an absolute mess”.
But, he added: “But I am actually going to be more positive about the place we have arrived at.
“One of the things that had really worried me was the breakdown in trust between ourselves and the EU.
“What Rishi Sunak has been able to do is rebuild some of that trust.”
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Despite the warm remarks about the deal from the businessman, both the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Brexiteer European Research (ERG) group of Tory MPs have yet to deliver their verdict.
Mr Sunak has insisted that the new deal “puts beyond all doubt that we have now taken back control”.
MPs are expected to have a vote on Mr Sunak’s Windsor framework in the coming weeks.
Labour have said they will back it, guaranteeing that it will become law.
Mr Johnson has admitted he would find it “very difficult” to back the plan, as the former prime minister said it would stifle the UK economically.
He warned the deal would “act as a drag anchor on divergence – and there’s no point in Brexit unless you do things differently”.
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