Indian-origin minister compares Brexit talks to ‘poker game’

By: PTI | London | Published:October 16, 2016 7:58 pm

Britain’s senior-most Indian-origin minister Priti Patel on Sunday likened the country’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union to a high stakes poker game. Patel, who was among the most vocal supporters of Britain’s exit from the 28-member economic bloc during the campaign for the June 23 referendum and went on to take charge as international development minister under Prime Minister Theresa May, said she could not reveal the details of the ongoing negotiations on the exact contours of Brexit.

“If I were to sit down and play poker with you this morning, I am not going to show you my cards before we can even start playing the game,” the 44-year-old Gujarati-origin minister told BBC. “We are looking at the new opportunities that leaving the EU will bring; new trade opportunities and taking back control of immigration,” she said.

In reference to May’s upcoming visit to India next month, she added: “The point of the Prime Minister’s visit is to build on those links (with the rest of the world).”

Patel described Britain as “an open economy” where Brexit would allow the government to handpick the best workers. She also pointed to the Great Repeal Bill that will see the UK government renegotiate the terms of the European Communities Act, saying her party is “focussing on aspects of EU law that simply do not work for Britain”.

The bill to be tabled in the UK Parliament will overturn the 1972 European Communities Act that established the supremacy of EU law over Britain’s own legislation. The Great Repeal Bill will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK following Brexit.