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Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia John Anderson insisted the EU needed Britain in its future post-Brexit. While speaking to Jonathan Saxty while on Brexit Watch, Mr Anderson argued the UK should strive to get a better agreement with the EU than no deal. He added a no deal did have some potential long-standing issues the UK should attempt to avoid.
Mr Saxty said: “As things stand, the UK will leave on so-called Australian terms with the EU.
“To the British people, is this something to fear, leaving on Australian terms?”
Mr Anderson admitted the UK should be aiming higher regarding their relationship with the EU.
However, he also called on the EU to not spite the UK out of frustration and agree a deal.
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He said: “I would aim a little higher if you could to be honest.
“You are actually talking to a farmer and the way in which they restricted our access to their markets is still wrangled.
“I would aim a little higher if you could.”
He noted the importance of a relationship between the UK and EU and his surprise at the difficulty to agree a deal.
He said: “For the life of me, Europe needs Britain, what is going on here because you need each other.
“The idea, that you would cut your nose off to spite your face on trade is just absurd.
“Fix it, it is simply in everyone’s interest, and we know that protectionism damages everybody.
“We are all mature adults, there may be many Europeans that don’t want the divorce but why would they damage their own economies by not looking for a trade deal that works for everyone.
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“I know that is a bit simplistic as there is a lot more to it but sometimes it helps to go back to basics as we know trade helps everyone.”
Boris Johnson and his Brexit negotiating team have told businesses to prepare for a no deal scenario due to the late stages of the Brexit talks.
However, following a collapse of the talks, both the UK and EU have agreed to return to the negotiating table in hopes of securing a trade deal.
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