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Brexit with no deal would be bad: Fox

By Sam Lister

Crashing out of the European Union without a Brexit deal would be "bad" for Britain, the International Trade Secretary has admitted.

Liam Fox said it was "not in anybody's interest" for divorce talks, which could begin in days, to end in failure.

But his comments were at odds with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who insisted leaving with no deal would not be "as apocalyptic as some people like to pretend".

Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the Government was making contingency plans for such an outcome after MPs warned that failure to put a back-up strategy in place would be a "serious dereliction of duty".

Former minister Anna Soubry, meanwhile, claimed talks could collapse within six months and leave Britain falling off a cliff-edge.

With the prospect of Article 50 being triggered as soon as tomorrow, Mr Fox told Sky News' Ridge On Sunday that "not having a deal of course would be bad".

"But it's not just bad for the UK, it's bad for Europe as a whole," he added.

The Cabinet minister warned that trade barriers would damage the EU more than the UK.

"That's not in anybody's interest, which is why I understand we need to plan for no deal, but I think it's unlikely to happen because economic reality will get in the way," he said.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said there was a real possibility the talks could end with no deal and warned that would be "very destructive" for both Britain and the EU.

Mr Davis insisted, however, the country would be ready if the negotiations "go wrong" and said the preparations would stop the country falling off "a cliff edge".

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