Leaving the European Union without a free trade agreement would be a “catastrophe”, and the UK may well need a transitional arrangement on trade with the EU to prevent it from happening, Chancellor Philip Hammond said in Davos today.
And he said it would take “years” for the UK Government to create new systems, for example for controlling immigration.
Commenting, Wes Streeting MP, supporter of Open Britain and member of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, said:
“This is a welcome dose of realism in contrast to the unrealistic rhetoric of earlier in the week.
“The man who runs our economy understands it would be a calamitous act of self-harm for us to turn our back on a deal and penalise British businesses and shoppers with higher prices.
“In his heart, Philip Hammond knows the Government have chosen to abandon the best trading relationship with the EU and his head is telling him even a second-best arrangement will take longer than two years to sort out.”