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Brexit: Rishi Sunak rules out deal that relies on EU law alignment

The UK will not pursue any post-Brexit relationship with the EU "that relies on alignment with EU laws", Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said.

It follows reports that some in government want to move towards a Swiss-style deal, with less trading friction and more migration.

Switzerland can trade easily with the bloc, but must follow some EU rules.

Mr Sunak told business leaders that control of migration was one of the immediate benefits of Brexit.

Speaking at the CBI conference in Birmingham he said: "I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit.

"I know that Brexit can deliver, and is already delivering, enormous benefits and opportunities for the country."

He argued that the UK was now able to "have proper control of our borders".

He also said the UK was free to pursue trade deals with "the world's fastest-growing economies".

Over the weekend, The Sunday Times reported that senior government figures were considering pursuing a Swiss-style deal.

Government ministers as well as Downing Street have denied the story, but it still prompted concern from some Brexit-supporting Conservatives.

Former minister Simon Clarke tweeted: "I very much hope and believe this isn't something under consideration. We settled the question of leaving the European Union, definitively, in 2019."

And Lord David Frost, who negotiated the existing deal, said: "I hope the government thinks better of these plans, fast."

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but does have a several agreements with the trading bloc, and has access to the single market for most of its industries. It also pays into the EU budget and has freedom of movement, meaning EU citizens can live and work in the country.

Last week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said he hoped the UK would be able to remove trade barriers with the EU but added that it would "take time".

"Having unfettered trade with our neighbours and countries all over the world is very beneficial to growth," he said.

He was speaking after delivering his Autumn Statement in which he confirmed the UK was in recession and that the economy was due to shrink further.

The chancellor's statement was accompanied by an economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility which said Brexit had had a "significant adverse impact" on UK trade.




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