I understand how strongly many people feel on both sides of the Brexit issue and the concern which people have about the possibility of a no deal Brexit at the end of the transition period.
The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Chief Negotiator have all made clear that we want to reach a deal with the EU. Indeed, Parliament has voted on numerous occasions to express our view that we should push hard for a comprehensive trade deal with the EU27 and that remains the aim of the Government.
The UK will leave the EU at the end of the transition period with either a Canada-style free trade agreement or the 2019 deal. The 2019 deal will give a trading relationship similar to the one Australia enjoys with the EU.
No deal is now an irrelevant concept. The UK left the EU on 31 January with a deal. The question now is whether we can agree with the EU a deeper trading relationship on the lines of the free trade agreement the EU has with Canada, or whether we have a trading relationship that is based on the 2019 deal, without a free trade agreement and along the lines of Australia’s relationship with the EU.
Negotiations are currently ongoing and both sides are seeking a free trade agreement with no tariffs, quotas, fees or charges across all goods sectors as well as further provisions on services and security cooperation. The Withdrawal Agreement legally commits the UK and the EU to seek to reach and implement a future relationship agreement in good faith by the end of the transition period.
Agreement is still possible and I am hopeful that this can be achieved. The UK is not asking for a special, bespoke, or unique deal. We are looking for a deal like those the EU has previously struck with other friendly countries like Canada.