Boris Johnson Doesn’t Expect No-Deal Brexit but Says He’s Ready to Go for One
Johnson has refused to comment on last Friday night’s scandal with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds which has made numerous media headlines.
The frontrunner to become the new leader of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, and thus Britain’s next Prime Minister, leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson, has declared he did not believe that his country would leave the EU without a deal, a scenario known as a no-deal or “hard” Brexit.
Former London Mayor and former Foreign Secretary in the May Cabinet, Johnson is presently competing with current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to succeed Theresa May as leader of the Tories and of the UK.
“[I do] not believe for a moment [the UK would leave the EU without a deal],” Boris Johnson told the BBC in an interview on Tuesday, although he made a point of being prepared to leave the Union in a hard Brexit scenario.
“It’s not just up to us,” the arch-Brexiteer added, admitting that the UK would need the goodwill of the EU to avoid a hard Irish border or crippling tariffs on trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson scored 160 MP votes out of a total of 313 in the last House of Commons vote vs. Hunt’s 77.
However, latest reports in the British press suggest that a domestic scandal the frontrunner was involved in last Friday night might be hurting his popularity with Conservative Party members who are to elect one of the two in July.
The argument with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, 31, has resulted in calling the police, and making countless media headlines.
It was “simply unfair” to involve “loved ones” in the debate for the leadership of the Conservative Party, Johnson said with respect to the scandal with his girlfriend.
“I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones. And there’s a very good reason for that. That is that, if you do, you drag them into things that really is… not fair on them,” he declared.
Earlier British network Sky News announced it was going to cancel a live TV leadership debate between Hunt and Johnson since the latter had “so far declined” to take part.
In his BBC interview, Johnson also explicitly declared that the Brexit deal that Theresa May negotiated with the EU was “dead”.
He argued it was possible to broker a new deal with the EU before the present Brexit deadline of October 31.
“I think actually that politics has changed so much since 29 March,” he said, referring to the original Brexit deadline.
“I think on both sides of the Channel there’s a really different understanding of what is needed,” Johnson argued.
He insisted he would be able to persuade Brussels to resolve the Irish border issue – despite repeated warnings from EU leaders that that was impossible – by utilizing “abundant, abundant technical fixes” that could be made to avoid border checks.
“You have trusted trader schemes, all sorts of schemes that you could put into place,” Johnson argued, while admitting also that there was “no single magic bullet” to solve the issue.
(Banner image: TV grab from the BBC)