Redwood warns ‘tentacles of EU spreading into UK’ lives if Boris strikes bad Brexit deal

Brexit: Redwood warns of 'EU tentacles' without UK control

Brexit negotiations have been deadlocked as the UK and the European Union refuse to give in on three core issues, including state aid. The bloc has insisted they will only grant Britain tariff-free access to the single market if the UK agrees to respect Brussels’ standards on state aid. John Redwood warned any such agreement would leave the UK open to the “tentacles of the EU” and keep the country closely aligned to the union.

Addressing colleagues during a debate in the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Redwood said: “We do know that the European Union takes a very wide definition of state-aid.

“And state-aid definitely includes taxation, which is the subject of this legislation. And it includes grants and subsidies in the complete framework and general industrial policy.

“It is very wide-ranging and there is no way we can say we have Brexit if the EU will have power over our state aid policies because it will be tentacles stretching into this bill and the powers of the Treasury.

“And into the powers of the Business Department and their competition and industrial policies, into energy and practically every other major area you can imagine.”

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The Conservative MP added: “So I do hope our UK negotiators will be firm on this in the discussions they’re having that we must have control of taxation and state aid as fundamental parts of our Brexit departure. And we would have taken more.”

British negotiator Lord Frost has received a new mandate from Boris Johnson on Sunday ordering him to keep negotiating with Michel Barnier in a bid to secure a deal before the end of the transition period on December 31.

Last week the Government was subjected to a humiliating defeat in the Lords over plans to ditch EU state aid rules should a deal fail to be agreed before the year is out.

Ministers had argued with the ending of the period, Brussels would no longer have any jurisdiction in the UK and so “makes no sense to leave these rules on our statute book”.

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The British Government has maintained it will not seek to lower standards but was adamant the UK will not be following European regulation past December 31.

Boris Johnson agreed to “go the extra mile” and keep going with the negotiations after suggestions last week signalling that the talks would collapse.

Talks have however continued in Brussels, with some commentators claiming a deal could be on the horizon as BBC Political Editor Nicholas Watt saying Tory MPs had been called in for an update on Tuesday.

Mr Watts wrote on Twitter: “Big buzz in the last hour among Tory MPs that the UK is heading towards a Brexit deal with the EU. Eurosceptics being reassured they will be happy.

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“Nothing confirmed yet and MPs saying: many a slip between cup and lip. But MPs being told the signal will come if and when Jacob Rees-Mogg announces that the commons will sit on Monday and Tuesday next week. That would come before any UK / EU announcement.”

Brexiteer MP Bernard Jenkin however dismissed the tweet, noting he had not been informed of Cabinet attempts to reassure Leave-backing colleagues.

Mr Jenkin said: “No, there is nothing new to report, beyond what we have said before.

“I have no knowledge of an “informal cabinet push to reassure Brexiteers”.

“We have every confidence that Boris will protect UK sovereignty with or without a trade deal.”

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