David Davis tells MPs that ‘nobody pretended Brexit would be easy’
Watch: The Brexit secretary was loudly mocked from the Labour benches.
During his time as Ukip leader, Paul Nuttal boldly declared that "it will be easy to negotiate a trade deal" because "it's in the EU's interests".
Conservative MP John Redwood also said last year that "getting out of the EU can be quick and easy".
And international trade secretary Liam Fox claimed just six weeks ago: "The free trade agreement we will have to come to with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history."
But David Davis evidently was not paying attention when his fellow Brexiteers spoke out.
As he updated MPs on Britain's increasingly bitter Brexit talks, Brexit secretary told them there had been "concrete progress on the important issues" with the EU.
After many MPs took issue with that, Davis upped the ante even further.
"Nobody ever pretended this would be simple or easy," he protested, to more laughter and jeers from Labour.
Of course Davis himself is not on record as saying Brexit would be easy. But he did suggest last year that the process shouldn’t take too long.
He wrote: "Single countries, with the ability to be flexible and focussed, negotiate trade deals far more quickly than large trade blocs… So be under no doubt: we can do deals with our trading partners, and we can do them quickly.”