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Chancellor: Brexit trade deal can be ‘unifying moment’ for country

Written by on 27 December 2020

The Brexit trade deal agreed on Christmas Eve can be an “enormously unifying moment for our country”, the chancellor has said.

Rishi Sunak said anyone who is worried about the economic implications of the breach with Brussels should be “enormously reassured about the comprehensive nature” of the agreement.

The deal gives that reassurance, he said, because it provides a “stable regulatory co-operative framework”.

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Johnson’s Christmas message on Brexit deal

Mr Sunak said the UK’s financial services industry is “something to be proud of”, and will remain open for new relationships and trading.

But he said there would be changes in the financial world, because leaving the EU means we can “do things a bit differently”.

He added: “We will remain in close dialogue with our European partners when it comes to things like equivalence decisions.”

There is light at the end of the tunnel, Mr Sunak said, and we can look forward to a brighter future.

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Mr Sunak’s comments echo those of the prime minister, who has said the deal is the beginning of a “better relationship and a healthier relationship” with the EU.

“It’s the end of a long and fractious period, in which we kept trying to pretend to ourselves that we could go along with all sorts of things we didn’t really want to do for the sake of keeping up with the great project of European Union,” Boris Johnson told The Sunday Telegraph.

Boris Johnson and EU leaders celebrate making a deal over Zoom. Pic: Number 10
Boris Johnson and EU leaders celebrate making a deal over Zoom. Pic: Number 10

The PM said his government would not diverge from the EU “for the sake of diverging”.

But he said the UK would begin to go its own way “where that’s useful for the British people”.

“This Government has a very clear agenda to unite and level up and to spread opportunity across the country,” he said.

In the area of business taxes and regulation, Mr Johnson said the chancellor is “doing a big exercise on all of this”.

Regarding the pandemic, Mr Sunak said the government had “made good” on its promise to provide the NHS with everything it needs.

The UK is making “really good progress” on rolling out the coronavirus vaccine, he added.

His comments come as the pharmaceutical boss behind the Oxford vaccine says researchers have found a “winning formula” to improve the jab’s efficacy.