New Brexit minister Steve Barclay says renegotiating EU settlement ‘isn’t a realistic option’ as he prepares for ‘all scenarios - deal or no deal’

PUBLISHED: 12:32 19 November 2018

As part of his support for Active Fenland, MP Steve Barclay recently enjoyed a game of walking football. But his new role as Brexit Secretary will be far from a walk in the park - the challenge is whether he'll hit the target, be ruled offside or stay the distance? Picture: FACEBOOK/STEVE BARCLAY MP

As part of his support for Active Fenland, MP Steve Barclay recently enjoyed a game of walking football. But his new role as Brexit Secretary will be far from a walk in the park - the challenge is whether he'll hit the target, be ruled offside or stay the distance? Picture: FACEBOOK/STEVE BARCLAY MP

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MP Steve Barclay warned today that a key part of his new job as Brexit Secretary will to prepare the country for all scenarios including “deal or no deal”.

The MP for NE Cambs outlined his thoughts in a 750 word article for Tory supporting readers of the Sunday Express.

“As Brexit Secretary I will ensure this department continues the crucial work it has been doing in planning for all scenarios - deal or no deal,” he wrote.

“We may have taken a significant step forward but we must keep planning for no deal until this deal is finalised.”

The new Brexit minister said the date for our withdrawal from Europe was emphatically fixed for March 29 and it was “something I campaigned for and millions of Britons voted for.

“But while it is a landmark moment we should look at it not as the end of a process but rather the start of one.

“One which sees us once more an independent, sovereign nation reaching out to trade with partners old and new, exerting our influence for good on a global stage and securing a brighter, more prosperous country for our citizens.”

His article covered what he felt were the achievements thus far of the withdrawal process and one that “secures the rights of around one million Britons living in the EU and more than three million EU citizens living in the UK”.

On the final financial settlement with Europe he felt this was fair and he argued that Northern Ireland border issues had been settled, in principle.

The exit deal, though significant, was just a stepping stone “to the real prize of an independent future outside the EU”.

He warned that his fellow MPs should not be under any illusions that the EU will be prepared to start all over again and negotiate a fresh deal.

“That simply isn’t a realistic option,” he wrote.

“The majority of Britons just want us to get on with this now and start looking to a brighter future. And that is exactly what we are doing.”

Last month Mr Barclay paid a visit to a Fenland farmer, pointing afterwards that half the pork we eat is supplied by British farmers.

“As part of Brexit, there are more opportunities to support British farms including the pork industry,” he said after his visit.

“British farms have higher welfare than is often the case in Europe which in turn means fewer antibiotics are used, this is important given the wider health challenge of growing resistance to certain medication.

“It’s great to see local farmers demonstrating the best of farming particularly given the opportunity for growth in the years ahead.”

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