Responding to reports that European leaders believe a UK-EU trade deal could take 10 years to negotiate, Change Britain founding supporter Dominic Raab said:

‘The EU is unsurprisingly divided at this stage, and our diplomats are right to reflect the range of views. There are also, however, grounds for confidence. We’re not negotiating a trade deal from scratch, and any new barriers put up will hurt our European partners more than Britain. At such a fragile time for the Eurozone, a protectionist approach by EU leaders would do untold damage to European firms and jobs. No one wants that.’

Notes to Editors

Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, has reportedly told the Government that European leaders believe a UK-EU trade deal could take 10 years to negotiate (BBC, December 2016, link)

Oxford Economics acknowledge we could strike our own free trade agreements in just over two years – stating that ‘an analysis of regional trade deals conducted over the past 20 years found an average duration of 28 months’ (Oxford Economics, 2016, link).

The UK’s former Ambassador to the EU, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, has stated ‘there is no doubt that the UK could secure a free trade agreement with the EU. That is not an issue’ (Lords Hansard, 2 November 2015, col. 1492, link).

The CBI has said ‘the UK is highly likely to secure a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, and such an agreement would be likely to be negotiated at an extremely high level of ambition relative to other FTAs’ (Our Global Future, 4 November 2013, p. 152, link).

The Centre for European Reform has noted that ‘given the importance of the UK market to the Eurozone, the UK would probably have little difficulty in negotiating an FTA’ (‘The economic consequences of leaving the EU’, June 2014, p. 31, link).