Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

Boris Johnson: UK will ‘easily cope’ with no-deal Brexit

The British Prime Minister met Donald Tusk, the European Council President, at the G7 summit on Sunday

 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country could 'easily cope' with a no-deal Brexit. EPA/IAN LANGSDON
 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country could 'easily cope' with a no-deal Brexit. EPA/IAN LANGSDON

Britain will have no trouble coping with a no-deal Brexit, the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday at the G7 summit in France.

After a round of talks in Biarritz, a town in the South of France, Mr Johnson said the chances of securing a new deal with the EU were improving.

He met Donald Tusk, the European Council President, at the summit on Sunday, after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week.

Mr Tusk told the British leader that the EU is open to alternatives to the backstop, which seeks to prevent the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by provisionally keeping the UK in the Customs union with the EU.

Despite signs that the EU was open to alternative arrangements, Mr Johnson said that the chances of a Brexit deal were “touch and go”.

“It depends very much on our ability to co-operate and the common sense of our friends, EU leaders,” he said.

Following talks with the UK leader, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was "convinced" Mr Johnson would deliver Brexit.

When he was running for prime minister, Mr Johnson said that the odds of a no-deal outcome were a million to one.

A leak of Downing Street's no-deal preparations, called Operation Yellowhammer, last week suggests the government would struggle to cope with crashing out of the EU and forecasts shortages of food and medicine.

But Mr Johnson sought to allay concerns of a shortage of supplies, saying that the government could guarantee there would not be a shortage of medicine in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

But he gave a warning that there would probably be unforeseen circumstances after Britain left the bloc.

During a breakfast meeting with Mr Johnson in Biarritz earlier on Sunday, US President Donald Trump raised the prospect of a “very big trade deal” with the UK, saying that such an agreement would happen quickly.

But Mr Johnson said that the US must open up its markets to British investment if a post-Brexit trade deal was going to be agreed on.

Updated: August 26, 2019 06:19 PM

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