Boris Johnson says chances of new Brexit deal 'improving' but are still 'touch and go'

Posted On: 
25th August 2019

Boris Johnson has said the chances of striking a new Brexit deal with the EU are “improving” but are still ”touch and go”.

Boris Johnson with European Council President Donald Tusk ahead of bilateral talks during the G7 summit in Biarritz
Credit: 
PA Images

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Speaking after meetings at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the Prime Minister said the bloc would be responsible if the UK leaves without an agreement in place.

He told Sky News: "Let's be clear, I think at the moment there's a reasonable chance that we'll get a deal.”

And he said to the BBC that it "all depends on our EU friends and partners”.

When pressed on the chances, he said: "I think it's going to be touch and go. But the important thing is to get ready to come out without a deal."

He warned the UK must therefore still prepare to leave without a deal, but said he was feeling "optimistic". 

Mr Johnson also responded again to Donald Tusk's comment that he would become 'Mr No-Deal', adding: "The people who are going to be responsible for no-deal are not in the UK, we don't want no-deal." 

It was reported that Mr Johnson went for an early-morning swim in the sea before a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Afterwards he told ITV: "Let me give you a metaphor. I swam round that rock this morning.

"From here you cannot tell there is a gigantic hole in that rock. There is a way through.

"My point to the EU is that there is a way through, but you can't find the way through if you just sit on the beach.”

On his meeting with Mr Trump, he told Sky that the UK will be able to get a "great deal" with America, but it could take time. 

He said: ”I think the Americans are certainly very ambitious to do a deal as fast as possible.

"What we're saying to them is, 'yes we want to go fast' and we share their optimism and enthusiasm, but we want it to be a big and comprehensive free trade deal." 

The Government also released a joint statement from Mr Johnson and Mr Trump, saying: “They celebrated the enduring Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and reaffirmed the value of the transatlantic partnership.

"The President and the Prime Minister noted the unique depth of the security and defence partnership between the two countries and the benefits it brings to each.

“They committed to increasing the cooperation between the two sovereign nations.

The statement said they also discussed “how the United Kingdom leaving the European Union presents many opportunities for deepening our already robust economic and commercial relationship, including a comprehensive trade agreement”.