Brexit Secretary David Davis has told the BBC he is “pretty sure”, but not “certain”, that he will be able to get a free trade deal with the EU.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that other EU states “have a very strong interest in getting a good deal”.
“I’m pretty sure, I’m not 100% sure – it’s a negotiation.”
But he said that if the UK was only offered a “punishment deal” then it had to be prepared to “walk away… we have to plan for that”.
He also defended Theresa May as a “very good prime minister” – although said she was “under pressure”.
When asked if it would be “catastrophic” for Brexit negotiations for there to be a Tory leadership contest, he replied: “Yes.”
“Let me be absolutely plain about this, number one, I happen to think we have got a very good prime minister. I know she is coming under a lot of pressure at the moment, but I have seen her in action.
“I think she is very good. She makes good decisions. She’s bold. She takes her time.
“Point number two is, I want a stable backdrop to this Brexit negotiation.”
Mr Davis is heading up the UK side of negotiations, and began talks with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier last week.
Mrs May has been criticised by some for saying “no deal is better than a bad deal” with the EU.
Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond said “no deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain” although he went on to say a “worse outcome” would be a deal “deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy”.
When Mr Davis was asked by Marr whether he was sure there would be a deal, he said: “I’m pretty sure, I am not 100% sure, you can never be, it’s a negotiation.
Reminded of his past words that “we are guaranteed to get a deal”, Mr Davis said: “You can be sure there will be a deal, whether it’s the deal I want which is the free trade agreement, the customs agreement and so on – I’m pretty sure but I’m not certain.”
Source: world bbc