Boris Johnson, 55, was elected as Prime Minister after Theresa May announced her intention to resign on May 24. The Uxbridge MP was the face of the Leave campaign ahead of the referendum vote in 2016 and maintained through the Tory leadership contest he intends to adhere to the Brexit deadline of October 31, whether it means leaving with or without a new deal in place. Mr Johnson revealed he has a game plan to ensure a new and preferable deal is negotiated with the EU. But what exactly is the 55-year-old’s plan and why does it contrast with the European Union’s plans?
Mr Johnson has urged Brussels to “come to its senses” regarding Brexit as he continued to insist that the chances of a no deal exit from the EU remained at “a million to one” if the EU showed “goodwill and common sense”.
The new PM called on the EU to scrap the controversial Irish border backstop and institute a free trade deal with the UK without red tape.
During a visit to Scotland yesterday, Mr Johnson said the current withdrawal agreement was “dead” and that the intended to “get this thing done”.
Mr Johnson said: “My approach is to be very outward going.
“I don’t want the UK to be aloof or hanging back, I want us to engage, to hold out the hand of friendship, to go the extra thousands of miles.
“But what we want to do is make absolutely clear that the backstop is no good.”
During his campaign to become the next leader of the country, Mr Johnson said the odds of a no deal were a “million to one”.
Yesterday he added: “Provided there is sufficient goodwill on the part of our partners that is exactly where I would put the odds.”
However, some of Mr Johnson’s top ministers are not in agreement that a no deal Brexit is this unlikely.
New Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said the UK “must operate under the assumption” the EU will not budge in talks, adding a no deal exit was “a very real prospect”.
Mr Johnson, however, said he will be able to negotiate a new deal as the UK’s position is not really known by the EU.
He said: “It hasn’t been at all clear that was the point of the UK government before now. There’s no point coming out of the EU if you’re going to end up being run by the EU.
“Brussels has been a bit baffled about what the UK position really was.”
But sources in the Commission reported the EU was ready to call Boris Johnson’s bluff.
Brussel reporter Nick Gutteridge said EU officials are adamant a new deal will not be negotiated.
He claims Brussels believes Mr Johnson wants to make the European Council meeting in October into a mammoth all-night negotiation at which, the new PM hopes, the EU27 leaders will endorse at the 11th hour renegotiation.
Instead the European Union is planning to turn the October 17 summit into a final no-deal preparation event with “a blitz on contingency measures” and “communiques bracing businesses and financial markets.”
An EU source told Mr Gutteridge: “If we’re really in the deal-making business, this is not a thing you invent on a small piece of paper on the corner of a table at 3am.”
Instead, Brussels officials are planning for a blitz on contingency measures and bracing businesses and financial markets for No Deal on October 31.
Eurocrats have said the fortnight between the end of the Tory party conference on October 2 and the summit could be key.
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