Monday 21 November 2022 09:23 AM Brexiteer Tory MPs demand Jeremy Hunt personally deny wanting 'Swiss-style' EU ... trends now
The Prime Minister and Chancellor reportedly want to put the UK on the path to a 'Swiss-style' relationship with Brussels to boost trade.
Switzerland and the EU have a close economic relationship based on a series of bilateral agreements, giving the country direct access to parts of the EU's internal market including the free movement of people.
No10 and ministers have denied there are any such plans since the story first emerged in the Sunday Times, albeit without any freedom of movement involved.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick was the latest this morning when he said there was 'no question whatsoever' of the UK reopening the 'fundamental tenets' of its deal with the EU.
But backbenchers are demanding the same denials from the PM - a Brexiteer in 2016 and the Chancellor, who backed Remain.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Sun: 'The Chancellor needs to himself slap this story down.
'This should never have got going and if he meant it or not, he needs to make it clear this is not what the government is about.'
It is reported that Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt want to put the UK on a path to 'Swiss-style' relationship with the EU
Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Sun: 'The Chancellor needs to himself slap this story down. This should never have got going and if he meant it or not, he needs to make it clear this is not what the government is about.'
Former cabinet minister Nadine Dorries has warned the Prime Minister he must convince voters that Brexit is 'safe'
Mr Hunt admitted last week however that Brexit had led to trade barriers.
Asked whether rejoining the single market would boost growth, the Chancellor replied: 'Having unfettered trade with our neighbours and countries all over the world is very beneficial to growth. I have great confidence that over the years ahead we will find outside the single market we are able to remove the vast majority of the trade barriers that exist between us and the EU.'
The prospect of a Swiss-style deal has alarmed Tories, who fear it will cost them Leave-backing voters at the next election.
Mrs Dorries said: 'I'd like to see a more robust rebuttal from No 10. They need to reassure people that Brexit is safe, that the question of recommencing payments to the EU is absurd.
'There can be no room for misinformation when what the country craves most right now is stability.'
Mr Jenrick said it 'couldn't be further than the truth' that Rishi Sunak's Government is considering putting the UK on the road to a Swiss-style relationship with the union.
'We have a settled position on our relationship with the European Union, that's the deal that was struck in 2019 and