04:04 GMT +319 October 2018
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    Independent MEP: 'We’ve Got to Be Big and Bold and Not Fear a No Deal Brexit'

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    Theresa May is to hold Brexit talks with the Austrian chancellor before heading off on her summer holiday. The British PM is holding talks with Mr Kurz and Czech PM Andrej Babis as she seeks to win support for her proposals for the UK's future relationship with the EU. Sputnik spoke to Janice Atkinson, Independent MEP about this situation.

    Sputnik: Theresa May’s Brexit plan suffered a further knock today, as the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, rejected a key element of her plan.  How significant is this?

    Janice Atkinson: It’s totally insignificant; the Chequers deal was dead in the water as soon as she presented it to her cabinet. What she’s got to look at is what’s happening around the world; the rest of the world is not encased in this trading block. Most trading will take place outside the EU block, 93% in 10 years’ time; will be done outside of the EU. I was listening to the former ambassadors of Australia and New Zealand, they would like us to join the Transpacific Partnership, so we would be able to sell to Japan and deal with our commonwealth partners, rather be strapped to the EU. What they’re doing is missing a wasted opportunity for our great country, to trade on liberal policies. This is my vision, so I think this will be pushed to the wire, I think what will happen is right at the very last minute the EU will come back with a comprehensive free trade agreement and that’s something we can sign up to. Anything else we will be shackled to the EU.

    Sputnik: In relation to these developments in Europe, Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has joined the pro-European activists seeking a second Brexit referendum. Blair tweet that no-one who voted in the 2016 referendum "wanted a poorer country" which now has to stockpile food and medicines. Is this just another dose of project fear or serious grounds for concern?

    Janice Atkinson: It’s just a continuation of project fear with an awful lot of money behind it, people who want to discredit democracy. We’ve got a representative democracy at the moment that’s very very broken.  There was a Sunday Times poll at the weekend which said that 40% of people out of 70% of people that actually vote, would vote for UKIP and other right leaning parties, because they don’t believe in the broken system that’s Westminster. It was made very clearly to the British people; both by Tony Blair, Cameron, Obama and others… it meant no to the customs union, no to the single market and it meant taking back our border and control of our trade. That’s what Mrs May has to deliver.

    Sputnik: With just over 8 months to go before Britain is expected to leave the EU, very little has been finalized. Is Britain heading for a no deal Brexit?

    Janice Atkinson: There’s two scenarios on the table now. There is the ‘No deal’ Brexit scenario, in which we automatically take our seat back on the WTO rules and trade as a global Britain again. That’s something that I think we should not fear. Switzerland is good on its own, Singapore is good on its and so are lots of other countries around the world. We’ve got President Trump, lining up to say he would have a free trade deal with us but we can’t stay shackled to the EU. We’ve got our Commonwealth Partners lining up as well — we’ve got to be big and bold and not fear a ‘No Deal’. It would be preferable to have a free trade agreement and I think they will come to the table and do that, if not we should not fear WTO rules.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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