FORMER Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has set out his plan to save Brexit ahead of tomorrow’s crunch vote on Theresa May’s EU exit agreement, insisting the UK should keep half the money we’re due to send to Brussels until a free trade deal is agreed.
The prominent Brexiteer laid his alternative plan in a newspaper column. Parliament is due to vote on Mrs May’s EU exit deal on tomorrow, unless the vote is pulled. The Government is facing an uphill battle over the vote, with dozens of Tory MPs vowing to join Labour in rejecting the deal.
In his Daily Telegraph column, Mr Johnson argued: “We need to withhold at least half the £39billion until the free trade agreement is done.
“We need massively to step up our preparations for leaving without an agreement.
“We know that the best way to ensure a great deal is to prepare for a no deal.”
Under the deal agreed by Mrs May the UK will pay Brussels a £39billion divorce bill as it leaves the EU, without arranging a future free trade deal in return.
If a new trading relationship can’t be agreed during the transition period, currently set at 21-months, Britain will automatically drop into a customs union ‘backstop’ with the EU.
Should this happen the UK would struggle to arrange comprehensive trade deals with third-party countries, whilst still having to adhere to a significant proportion of EU legislation.
The backstop was introduced in an effort to avoid any hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.