Grayling: Brexit plan ‘not about cherry-picking’
The Transport Secretary said the Prime Minister acknowledges that the UK will not be able to retain all the benefits of EU membership it might like.
The UK will not be able to “have everything that we might like” from the European Union as it leaves the bloc, a Cabinet minister has acknowledged.
Chris Grayling said the UK’s position being set out by Prime Minister Theresa May was “not about cherry-picking”.
The Transport Minister predicted that some of the strong rhetoric around the kind of relationship the UK would be able to have with the EU after Brexit would “come out in the wash” during the course of the negotiations.
Speaking as Mrs May prepared to set out her vision of the future economic relationship, Mr Grayling said: “The Prime Minister will recognise that it is not about cherry-picking, we can’t have everything that we might like to have because we are leaving.”
"She's going to recognise that there are things that we can't have as we leave the single market, the customs union and the European Union."— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) March 2, 2018
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on Theresa May's speech due later today. More here 👉
https://t.co/miPhSt8TzY #r4today pic.twitter.com/PogxXoXPEt
But he also predicted a softening in Brussels’ stance, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I talk to my European counterparts all the time.
“What I experience, what my fellow ministers experience, is a genuine desire in other European capitals to maintain a good, close relationship.
“If it is possible for a country like Israel to be part of European research programmes, why on earth would it not be possible for the UK to do so?
“These things are all going to come out in the wash as we go through the negotiating process.
“People say strong things as you go through negotiations but it is in everybody’s interests – other member states are saying that to us, we believe it, business believes it, it is about protecting jobs, retaining partnerships.”
He said he wanted the UK to remain in the European Aviation Safety Agency after Brexit.
“It is in everyone’s interests, in what is a completely international environment, that we stay part of that,” he said.
“I see no reason why we can’t achieve that.”