"We will clearly go into what to argue for a full open comprehensive agreement with Europe, but we will prepare for the United Kingdom's national interests being defended if we cannot get one… It is not exactly a nightmare scenario, I am not scared of it, but I would prefer to have a deal," UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox said during the Peston on Sunday program aired by the ITV broadcaster.
The official added that the United Kingdom should be prepared for any developments of the situation.
Fox believes that the country has good prospects to reach an agreement with the European Union, as well as free trade deals with dozens of countries after Brexit.
This optimism is supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent comments on the deal during a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels. She expressed commitment to maintain a "good spirit" during Brexit talks, but urged the UK to be more precise about the country's proposals. Germany and France, as the key economic and political players in the bloc, are to take the heat of the deal.
However, despite Merkel's allegations to postpone trade negotiations until December at the soonest, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk stated that the other 27 leaders of the EU had agreed to start discussions even with lack of progress achieved on the issue.
Brexit conclusions adopted. Leaders green-light internal EU27 preparations for 2nd phase. #EUCO— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 20 октября 2017 г.
Britain is planning to leave the EU in March 2019, but the sides have yet to negotiate the conciliation sum the UK has to pay.
According to Friday's The Times report, May has bargained in private talks to add 20 billion euros (US$23.5 billion) to those 20 billion she has already claimed to pay in her infamous Florence speech.