Nothing to fear from 'no deal' Brexit , says MP Owen Paterson
North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson said people should embrace a so-called 'no deal' Brexit as an exciting opportunity to open up Britain to trading with the rest of the world.
His comments come after it emerged 209 MPs had signed a letter calling on the Prime Minister to rule out leaving the EU without a trade agreement.
Mr Paterson, a member of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, said leaving the European Single Market and customs union would deliver a major boost for British manufacturing, driving down supply costs and opening up new markets.
The letter, organised by Tory Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour's Jack Dromey, called for Theresa May to rule out leaving the EU without a trade deal, saying it would damage British manufacturing and jobs. It has not been supported by any of Shropshire's MPs, but a number of Labour MPs in the West Midlands, including Wolverhampton MPs Pat McFadden and Emma Reynolds, and Walsall North MP Valerie Vaz, did express support.
It has also been backed by business giants including Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Ford.
But Mr Paterson said freeing Britain from EU restrictions would make it easier for British companies to trade beyond Europe.
He also cited a report by leading Labour Brexiteer Brendan Chiltern, who said his party had to recognise that the modern labour movement had an interest in business and commerce outside the confines of Europe.
Mr Paterson said: "Leaving the EU gives us a tremendous opportunity, we would have access to the whole world market, selling our components and goods to countries both inside and outside the EU.
"We will have control of our tariffs, so we could cut them to zero if necessary, to the whole world. That would bring competition from around the world, and force our European suppliers to drive down their prices to world levels.
"It's a massive gain for manufacturing, we can achieve great things if we can control our own tariffs."