EU referendum: Swiss- or Canadian-style trade deal not as beneficial as EU membership, government report will caution

Hayley Kirton
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Critics have slammed government's analysis, saying that Britain would not have an off-the-shelf deal anyway (Source: Getty)

The alternatives to EU membership, such as a Swiss-style trading structure, are more damaging to Britain than staying in the union, a government report due to be released this morning will warn.

However, critics have been quick to slam the analysis, highlighting that Britain would be drawing itself up a bespoke deal should it leave, rather than borrowing from another country, making the study of other trade agreements flawed.

The government report, which has been produced as a requirement of the EU Referendum Act, examines deals other countries have with the EU, including Switzerland, Norway and Canada, as well as the setup under the World Trade Organisation.

The study concludes that, should Britain opt to leave the EU, it will then have to make significant trade-offs to gain access to free trade, which could include having to accept free movement of people, contributing to the EU's budget and being tied into any rules changes within the Single Market without having a say in them.

Read more: Brexit: Leap in the dark or stride into the light?

"Hard-headed analysis shows that every alternative to remaining in a reformed EU would leave Britain weaker, less safe and worse off," said foreign secretary Philip Hammond. "Working people would pay the price with fewer jobs and rising prices.

"The report concludes that Britain is stronger, safer and better off in a reformed European Union."

However, Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions, said:

This dodgy dossier won’t fool anyone, and is proof that Remain are in denial about the risks of remaining in a crisis ridden EU.

The truth is, we won’t copy any other country’s deal. We will have a settlement on our own terms – and one that will return control of our borders, and money to Britain. That’s the safer choice.

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