10:12 GMT25 February 2020
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    Rumours have arisen that the EU’s powers that be, could reject British Prime minister Boris Johnson’s plan to broker a post Brexit free trade deal on the basis of stringing together smaller arrangements. The reason being; that Brussels argues that this could give the UK’s economy an unfair advantage at the expense of the rest of Europe.

    UKIP’s John Whitby gave his views on the matter.

    Sputnik: Will the EU and UK be able to negotiate a mutually beneficial post-Brexit trade deal?

    John Whitby: I think that will be exceptionally difficult because the whole point of the EU is to be protectionist and to be a political entity.

    For them to give the UK a free trade deal without political control, would inevitably lead to almost every other contributory country in the EU saying “Why are we paying for this.” This would then give the EU all sorts of problems.

    My feeling is that we are quite likely, if Boris Johnson holds his nerve; to end up with a deal of some kind, but it will not be a free trade deal, I think that we are going to end up going to WTO terms, at least for a short period of time.

    Sputnik: Who would be more affected economically by a no-deal Brexit; the UK or the EU?

    John Whitby: Everyone will lose a bit; I was never one of these people who said that it was all going to be absolutely wonderful, there will be dislocation because we’ve been in the EU for the best part of fifty years, so there will be changes, and not all changes will be positive for everybody, but overall I think that the UK will be much better off.

    The EU has a huge problem, they have just lost eight billion pounds a year, and how are they going to make that up? From what I have read; there are already arguments starting in the EU, over who is going to pick up the shortfall, and whether the EU is going to cut its budget, which it doesn’t seem to want to do.

    Sputnik: Could the UK suffer food shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

    John Whitby: I can’t see realistically there being any issues with food. If the government is sensible; there is very little that you can only get from the EU that you can’t get from elsewhere, it may be more difficult, but we can probably get a lot of food from outside the EU, at world tariffs, and not the protectionist EU ones, which could actually make food prices cheaper.

    The UK doesn’t have contracts with the EU, we have contracts with companies, and I can’t see any company in Spain not being willing to sell us oranges, or whatever it is that they are producing, that we buy.

    The EU will suffer hugely, and I think that if there is any inkling that the EU is going to go down that route of trying to prevent us buying from companies within the EU; I think there is going to be such a huge backlash, that the EU will suffer more problems than it can really deal with.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    trade deal, Brexit, Boris Johnson, European Union (EU), United Kingdom
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