The British chancellor, Philip Hammond, has called on Brussels to accept Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint, saying it offers a “fair and sensible” way forward.
Hammond said the controversial plan hammered out at Chequers last month would enable the UK to remain closely connected to the EU economy in a way that worked for both sides.
His comments came after the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, said “intransigence” on the EU side meant there was now a 60-40 chance that Britain would crash out without a deal.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has already rejected a key element of the proposals for a “facilitated customs arrangement”, saying the the bloc would not accept anything that undermined the integrity of the single market.
Hammond, however, said the Chequers plan represented a “pragmatic” way out of the the current deadlock.
“Getting a deal with the European Union that allows our businesses to continue accessing the European market is clearly in our best interest. I believe that the Chequers white paper represents the best way forward,” he told Sky News.
“It is a fair and sensible and pragmatic offer to the Europeans that will allow us to deliver on the result of the referendum – taking back control of our borders for immigration, allowing us to develop our own trade policy, the ending of large amounts of money to Brussels every year – but at the same time allow us to remain closely connected with the European economy in a way that works for us and works for the Europeans.”