UK trade minister Fox says EU is pushing Britain to no-deal Brexit
With less than eight months until Britain quits the EU, the government has yet to agree a divorce deal with Brussels and has stepped up planning for the possibility of leaving the bloc without any formal agreement.
Fox, a promiment Brexit supporter in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet, put the odds of Britain leaving the European Union without agreeing a deal over their future relationship at 60-40.
"I think the intransigence of the commission is pushing us towards no deal," Fox told the Sunday Times after a trade mission in Japan.
"We have set out the basis in which a deal can happen but if the EU decides that the theological obsession of the unelected is to take priority over the economic wellbeing of the people of Europe then it's a bureaucrats' Brexit -- not a people's Brexit -- (and) then there is only going to be one outcome."
It was up to the EU whether it wanted to put "ideological purity" ahead of the real economy, Fox said.
If Britain fails to agree the terms of its divorce with the EU and leaves without even a transition agreement to smooth its exit, it would revert to trading under World Trade Organization rules in March 2019. ■