- Jeff Overs/BBC handout/Reuters
LONDON – Brexit secretary David Davis has said he is “pretty sure” but not “100 percent certain” that he can negotiate a free trade deal when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
“It’s a negotiation… you can be sure there’ll be a deal [but] the deal I want is the free trade agreement, the customs agreement and so on,” Davis said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
“I said it will be turbulent [and] there will be difficulties but at the end of the operation there is a point of common interest in both sides.
“[This is] where we [the UK] gain by being able to exploit global markets [and] where they [the EU] gain by having a friendly and comfortable ally, not an irritating member of the club.”
Davis added that he would be prepared “to walk away” if the UK was given a “punishment deal.” He said: “We have to plan for that.”
Andrew Marr also quizzed Davis on whether a Conservative leadership challenge to “under pressure” Tory leader Theresa May would represent a catastrophe to Brexit negotiations.
“Yes,” was Davis’s answer.
“Let me be absolutely plain about this: number one, I happen to think we have got a very good prime minister. I know she is coming under a lot of pressure at the moment, but I have seen her in action [and] I think she’s bold, takes her time, and makes good decisions.
“Point number two is, I want a stable backdrop to this Brexit negotiation.”