Hold your nerve Boris! EU has more to gain than UK from Brexit trade deal says IDS

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The former Conservative leader hit out at the stalled Brexit negotiations as he explained that the UK’s deficit on goods to the European Union is around £100billion. Sir Iain Duncan Smith noted the EU has refused to negotiate regulations around services which he branded “bad faith” on their part. Speaking to Jonathan Saxty on Brexit Watch, Sir Iain said: “It is always possible the Government may yet decide that they need the trade deal more than anything else.

“Don’t get me wrong, I would be happy to have a trade deal.

“In truth, the biggest part of our trade is through services.

“They’re our biggest exporters. They are intriguingly in a global surplus in the world whereas our goods and agri-products are smaller.

“If you look at the deficit we’ve got on trade with the EU, we’re running up a deficit of around £100billion.

“It is in fact the surplus on financial services that give us a £20billion bite into that which means that we are running at around about £80billion deficit.

“It’s probably more in the EU’s interest than ours to do a straight trade deal.

“We benefit less from the trade deal which is about tariffs where we would benefit a lot more if the EU were willing to negotiate services.

“There you are not dealing with tariffs, you’re dealing with regulations and so we would seriously want them to do that but they’ve refused point blank which I think in itself is bad faith.”

His comments come as Nigel Farage has insisted that the exit of Boris Johnson’s top aide from Downing Street means a “Brexit sell-out” is looming.

Brexit Party leader Mr Farage said he had never liked the Prime Minister’s outgoing chief adviser Dominic Cummings. But he said he was concerned about the consequences of his departure.

Mr Cummings left Number 10 carrying a box on Friday evening after he quit as the Prime Minister’s right-hand man.

Mr Farage tweeted: “It is well documented that I have never liked Dominic Cummings but he has backed Brexit.

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“Seeing him leave Number 10 carrying a cardboard box tells me a Brexit sell-out is close.”

The comments came after Downing Street insisted that Mr Cummings’s departure would not impact Brexit talks.

Mr Cummings’s dramatic exit from Number 10 comes at a crucial juncture in the post-Brexit talks between the UK and Brussels.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman James Slack insisted that suggestions the Government could compromise on key principles in the wake of Mr Cummings’s decision to leave were “simply false”.

Mr Cummings was widely seen as the mastermind behind the victorious Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum.

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