oris Johnson has warned there is a “strong possibility” that a no free trade deal will be struck with the EU and to “get ready for Australian option”.
The prime minister told the British people to “make proper preparations” for that scenario, which would come into effect on January 1 – maintaining that the deal currently on the table “isn’t right for the UK“.
“The UK has been incredibly flexible,” Mr Johnson said in an interview from Downing Street on Thursday night.
“We tried very hard to make progress on all sorts of things.”
He added: “There’s always the possibility, the prospect of coming out on Australia terms, which I believe are very good terms and we can prosper mightily in that future which is just around the corner. And there are all sorts of amazing opportunities for this country.
“So what I told the Cabinet this evening is to get on and make those preparations.
“We’re not stopping talks, we’ll continue to negotiate but looking at where we are I do think it’s vital that everyone now gets ready for that Australian option.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Boris Johnson earlier to “get the deal” and Labour will then take a look at it.
“For most people a year on from the election will be scratching their heads saying ‘look this is the Prime Minister who promised us a deal, who told us he actually had got an oven ready deal’ and most people will be saying get on and deliver on that promise”, he told the BBC.
He also said he did not think it will be possible for Parliament to stop the UK exiting the transition period at the end of December without a deal, due to the size of the Conservative majority.
After returning to London effectively empty-handed, senior Tory MPs piled pressure on the PM to get a final Brexit agreement as new research revealed that no deal spells a disastrous £10 billion hammer blow for the capital.
One senior MP told Mr Johnson he had “no mandate” for no-deal while another said it would be “a failure of statecraft”.