Brexit negotiations could be “reset” in November as the UK and EU struggle to strike a deal they both find acceptable, according to former Brexit secretary David Davis.
The EU’s stance towards the UK will soften in the coming months as both sides try to bridge the gap in negotiations to avoid a no deal scenario, Davis told Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We’ll get to a point where [Prime Minister Theresa May] will not be able to accept what they offer they’ll not be able to accept what she offers and they’ll have to have some sort of reset,” he said.
That deal would look like the Canada-EU free trade agreement, he said, something European Council president Donald Tusk first offered in March.
Davis said that while the EU will refuse to accept the Chequers plan, and the UK will not accept EU demands, “everyone’s afraid of no deal” and so both parties will be forced to return to the drawing board and settle on a Canada-style agreement.
“There are plenty of precedents for this,” the former minister claimed, adding that “it’s almost possible off the shelf”, something he claimed May’s Chequers plan is not.
That resetting discussion won’t occur until November, Davis believes.
“They move at the last possible minute, after they’ve tested your mettle, after they’ve taken you to the cliff edge,” he said.
He doubled down on his anti-Chequers stance, saying again that he would vote against such a deal were it brought before parliament.
Davis also said the EU’s view on the Irish border was beginning to soften, while claiming a second EU referendum wouldn’t be in the national interest.
May will call for EU flexibility when she addresses leaders of the bloc's member states later today in Salzburg.