Lord Hague has compared Brexit to taking control of a gun, saying it is possible to find a solution without using it to “shoot your foot off”. The former Conservative leader said he believes there is sufficient common ground among the different political parties to negotiate with the EU.
Lord Hague said this should result in the UK taking powers back – including leaving the single market – but then using them in a “very constructive” way to develop a “liberal” approach on migration and enter into a “very robust” free trade agreement. He added he does not expect the negotiations to be easy, noting it is the “most complex task” any government has faced since the Second World War.
Lord Hague told BBC Radio 4’s Reflections with Peter Hennessy: “It has to be delivered now, Brexit.
“There is a way through actually because there is just sufficient space or common ground among the positions of the various political parties, the factions within parties, the business world and that can be negotiated with the EU and to me that means taking powers back, the sovereign powers back to the UK, leaving the EU, leaving the single market, but then using those in a very constructive way.
“Which means continuing to have quite a liberal approach on migration, which is essential to our economy in the short-term anyway, so we take back control but we use that to enter a strong free trade agreement, you know.
“And you can take back control of a gun but it doesn’t mean you use it to shoot your foot off.
“So let’s take back control but enter willingly as a sovereign nation into a very robust free trade agreement and with the right attitude on migration I think it’s possible to reach the right solution on trade.
“And I think that’s something that the Conservative Party could support across the board and that many business organisations and people in other parties could then support.
“So there is a way through, but I’m not pretending this is easy to arrive at, to negotiate exactly in that form.
“The Government faces the most complex task of any government since the Second World War. It is a very difficult one.”
Lord Hague also addressed other topics in his interview, including that his “most regrets” are about the failure to resolve Syria’s civil war. The former foreign secretary said: “I’m not sure there’s much more I could have done over that, but it is the great frustration”.