'Not true!' Deborah Meaden in heated clash with Brexit activist backing UK trade deals


Deborah Meaden shut down Brexit activist John Longworth when he tried to suggest the UK’s trade deals are better than those the European Union has been able to negotiate with other countries. Since Britain left the EU, successive Tory Governments have signed three trade agreements with New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, with at least seven other agreements pending signature. According to the Brexit activists, those trade deals and the upcoming ones are a sign Brexit Britain is surpassing the EU on the international stage.

While Mr Longworth was trying to make the point that the UK is outperforming the European Union in striking trade deals, Ms Meaden went on the offensive.

She said on Sky News: “No way. It’s just not true!

“Can I ask, John, which trade deal is better than the trade deal we had with the biggest trading bloc in the world?

“Which trade deal?”

Mr Longworth squirmed: “Well, let me just say this: the European Union always goes to the lowest common denominator.”

Ms Meaden erupted: “Look, the question is really simple! 

She insisted: “Which trade deal is better than the one we had with the EU?”

Mr Longworth fired back: “We had superior trade deals with Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland to name just a few than the EU have.

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“Similarly, Japan…”

Ms Meaden can then be seen mouthing in disbelief: “Japan?” 

Mr Longworth continued: “So, we are doing just as well because we’re actually defending and promoting our own interests.”

The European Union has already secured trade deal agreements with Australia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South American countries, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam – while Brexit Britain has faced headwinds to secure deals with countries like the United States.

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Liz Truss redoubled efforts to revive an agreement with the US but President Joe Biden played down the chances of a trade deal over the post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister herself admitted a trade deal was out of reach, “and I don’t have an expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term,” she said.

Since exiting the bloc, Brexit Britain has sought to reach agreements with Ukraine, Israel, the Gulf Co-operation Council, Mexico, Canada, India and the US.

And last December, the United Kingdom struck a free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia, a feat Brussels announced it plans to mimick to strengthen its international ties during the latest State of the Union address in September.

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