boris

Boris Johnson has claimed the UK will “easily cope” with a no-deal Brexit and dismissed suggestions it would lead to food shortages.

The Prime Minister, who is attending the G7 summit in France, downplayed the impact of leaving the EU without an agreement in place.

And he blamed the “obduracy” of the the bloc’s remaining members for the lack of movement in the negotiations.

Mr Johnson said: “What I can tell people, and as I said a few weeks ago on the steps of Downing Street, I think we can get through this.

“This is a great, great country, the UK, we can easily cope with a no-deal scenario. And I know that’s what people want.”

He said talks aimed at agreeing a new Brexit deal were still ongoing, but said he wanted to make sure “if and when we are forced by the obduracy by our European friends to come out on 31 October without a deal that things are as smooth as they can possibly be”.

And despite admitting to Sky News “there may be bumps in the road” under no-deal, he said it was “highly unlikely that there will be food shortages of any kind” in such a scenario.

The PM was speaking after a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk at the summit in Biarritz.

One EU official told the Financial Times: “It was essentially just a reconfirmation of the views of both sides.

“There were no new substantive elements from any side, and obviously not from the UK side.”

They added: “The ball is really squarely and firmly in the UK court.”

Before the meeting Mr Johnson had confirmed reports he was looking at withholding much of the £39bn Brexit “divorce bill” if the UK exited with no deal.

He said: “If we come out without an agreement it is certainly true that the £39billion is no longer, strictly speaking, owed.

“There will be very substantial sums available to our country to spend on our priorities. It’s not a threat. It’s a simple fact of reality.”

The PM is meeting four more world leaders on Monday morning before the G7 summit comes to a close, including his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison a day after England’s stunning Ashes win.

Mr Morrison said after Ben Stokes’ heroic batting performance helped win the Headingley test and square the series at 1-1: “I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time about the fact they clipped us in the latest Ashes.”

There will also be face-face meetings between Mr Johnson and Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el Sisi and departing Italian PM Giuseppe Conte.

Facebook Comments