Theresa May rubbishes Boris Johnson's no-deal implementation period claim

Posted On: 
24th June 2019

Theresa May has rubbished Boris Johnson's claim that the UK could continue tariff-free trade with the EU after a no-deal Brexit.

Boris Johnson claimed there would be an implentation period after a no-deal Brexit.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister insisted there could be no implementation period without the Commons approving a Withdrawal Agreement.

Asked at a leadership hustings how he would ensure there was no hard border in Ireland after a no-deal Brexit, Mr Johnson said: "You solve the problem of free movement of goods across the Irish and Northern Irish and other borders to where they logically belong, and that is in the context of the free trade agreement that we’ll negotiate in the implementation period, after we’ve come out on 31 October."

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But the former Foreign Secretary has been criticised by a host of Cabinet ministers, who insisted tariffs were inevitable if the UK crashes out of the EU on Hallowe'en.

They were backed by Mrs May, who told MPs: "If we leave without a deal, there is no Withdrawal Agreement and therefore no implementation period."

But Priti Patel and Liz Truss, who are both backing Mr Johnson, have insisted he can negotiate a new arrangement with Brussels if he beats Jeremy Hunt to the Tory crown.

Ms Patel told Radio Four's Today programme: "This is not about an implementation period - that ship has sailed."