Bernard Jenkin and Anna Soubry were involved in a heated debate on Newsnight
After the Prime Minister signed the Article 50 document to formally begin Brexit talks on Tuesday evening, Bernard Jenkin claims Britain and Brussels should look to agree a free trade deal but claims the UK is “in a much stronger position” than the EU.
Speaking on Newsnight, the Brexit-backing MP said: “I agree with everybody that the idea that we’re going to finish up with a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU within two years is extremely unlikely.
The British Exchequer will raise billions of pounds from the import tariffs from the EU which we can spend supporting the motor industry, inward investment, investment allowances, grants for science and technology and other things that make us competitive
“The EU would find it very difficult to agree such a deal – it takes the EU a very long time to agree these things.
“What we should hope for is that we will sign sensible arrangements with customs facilitation and memorandums on understanding on product recognition and that sort of thing.
“Hopefully we’ll get the EU to accept our offer of free trade, that is, zero tariffs on manufactures, so that we can carry on trading more or less as we do at the moment.”
The Tory MPs found very little common ground during the discussion
However, he suggested that if trade tariffs are introduced, this could still be beneficial to the British economy.
Mr Jenkin continued: “If the EU can’t accept that, or they want us to pay too much for that, that’s the point at which we have to say ‘no, that’s OK, we’ll pay the tariffs.’
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“There will be a process of adjustment if we have to introduce tariffs, but the adjustment will be much more severe for some of the industries in the European Union that export so much more to our country than we do to them.
“The British Exchequer will raise billions of pounds from the import tariffs from the EU which we can spend supporting the motor industry, inward investment, investment allowances, grants for science and technology and other things that make us competitive.”
Theresa May signed the doument to begin Brexit talks on Tuesday
Fellow Newsnight guest Anna Soubry told Mr Jenkin he was “not being honest” with the British people and said the Prime Minister had an “almost impossible task” in delivering Brexit within the allotted timescale.
He hit back and asked Ms Soubry: “Do you really believe the EU would be insane enough not to do a customs facilitation deal with the United Kingdom… when they do it with any number of countries they don’t have trade deals with?”
Ms Soubry reiterated her suggestion that Mr Jenkin is not being honest with people, concluding: “We’re jumping off the cliff!”