Leaving the European Union without a deal is the only way Britain can fully take back control of its borders, a former Tory leader has claimed.
Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith said the UK would be able to start enjoying the benefits of Brexit from March 29 under a no-deal exit, rather than being left in “Brexit in Name Only purgatory” under the Prime Minister’s deal.
He described Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement – which is due to be voted on by MPs on Tuesday – as “flawed”, and instead proffered the benefits of leaving under World Trade Organisation terms.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “Only by leaving the EU on WTO terms can the UK fully take back control of its borders and deal with these issues. In taking back control of our migration policy we are also giving notice to industry that we will have to invest and train to a far greater degree than they have for some time.
“The greatest benefit of leaving under No Deal is that our country can start to enjoy the benefits of Brexit from March 29th 2019, rather than being left in the BRINO (Brexit In Name Only) purgatory of Mrs May’s deal. The British people have already waited for almost three years – they should not have to wait any longer.”
His intervention came in a report published by Economists for Free Trade, in which fellow Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg also said there was “nothing to fear” from leaving the EU without a deal.
Mr Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs, claimed that while it would be better to leave with a deal, the advantages of Brexit would come through sooner without an agreement.
He said: “In addition to goods continuing to flow, under a No-Deal departure, the British taxpayer would save £39 billion, money which could be used to cut taxes, to help our domestic economy and leave plenty to help any exporters who face particularly high tariffs.
“The advantages of Brexit would come through sooner with trade barriers going down in 2019 instead of 2021 which could see the cost of food, clothing and footwear fall sharply if the Government followed sensible policies. This particularly helps the least well off in society.”
Tory former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson, in the same report, suggested the “real reason” for the “Establishment hysteria” surrounding a no-deal exit “is that we actually would be leaving”.
“The other options now being floated – extending Article 50, a second referendum, or the subjugation demanded by the Withdrawal Agreement – are designed to hold the UK in the EU’s orbit in the hope that it may be sucked back in,” he said.
“These options would completely fail to honour the biggest democratic verdict ever delivered in British history,” he said.
“The optimal Brexit outcome remains a wide-ranging, zero-tariff free trade agreement as offered repeatedly by President Tusk. Such a deal can still be negotiated, but not by the end of March.
“Having wasted so much time on the Withdrawal Agreement, leaving on WTO terms is now the only way to break free fully and build a more prosperous, independent future.”