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Brexit rift: EU ‘certifiably mad’ to refuse free trade deal with UK, warns David Davis

“What David Frost is doing is highlighting something we started back in my day. What we did when I was in the department was we drew up the best of the best of all the other trade deals that the European Union had struck with anybody else.

“And we basically said look, you struck this deal with Canada, you struck this deal with Korea, you struck this deal with Australia, we just want the same.

“So you can’t pretend this undermines the viability of the single market.”

He added: “It’s very, very difficult for the Europeans to defeat that logic. The simple truth is that at some point the Europeans are going to have to face reality and reality for them is that the whole world economy is now on its back.

“You would have to be certifiably mad to impose tariffs and quotas under these circumstances.

“That, in essence, is the threat for the 1st of January.”

READ MORE: Trade hopes flounder as EU battles to ‘bind us to its laws’

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