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The UK should leave the EU within seven months, says leading Tory Eurosceptic

Leading Tory Eurosceptic John Redwood said the French and German Presidential elections were an prized opportunity for the UK to make demands on them

Tom Peck
Monday 03 October 2016 19:44 BST
John Redwood said he “knew” of six cabinet ministers who would consider resigning from the Government (Ge
John Redwood said he “knew” of six cabinet ministers who would consider resigning from the Government (Ge (Getty)

John Redwood has said upcoming elections in Europe are a "cracking good reason" to enact Brexit, and use French and German voters to pressurise Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel to concede to British demands.

France and Germany both have Presidential elections in March, when the UK will trigger Article 50 and start the formal two-year negotiations to leave the EU.

Mr Redwood said French leader Francois Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel would risk electoral failure if the UK called their bluff and pulled out of the EU, forcing them to decide, before the election, whether or not to impose tariffs on products like French cheeses and German cars, risking the wrath of manufacturers.

Speaking to a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party annual conference, Mr Redwood said: "I think the European elections are a cracking food reason to get on with Brexit, because it seems to me that if Hollande and Merkel have got to face the electors, they are not going to want to make one of their key planks putting on penal tariffs against their exporters into Britain.

"And if they did think that was a good wheeze they would soon have their equivalent of the CBI and the TUC saying 'we cannot afford to have any tariffs on French cheeses or French wines or German cars into Britain', because we have an awful lot of jobs here and some of them will be in marginal constituencies.

"So I say that's a very good thing. People are the only way of keeping governments honest and sensible, so we need to trust the people."

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