Boris Johnson may fight election backing no-deal Brexit, suggests Downing Street

Posted On: 
10th October 2019

Boris Johnson has not ruled out fighting an election backing a no-deal Brexit, Downing Street has suggested.

Number 10 say Boris Johnson could still back no-deal at an election
PA Images

This is despite a group of moderate Tory MPs claiming the Prime Minister had confirmed to them leaving the EU with an agreement was still official party policy.

But they have been accused of having “ over-interpreted” Mr Johnson’s words and say no fixed position has been agreed.

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Boris Johnson reassures moderate Tories he will not fight election on no-deal manifesto

A delegation from the "One Nation" caucus had a meeting in Downing Street on Wednesday to get assurances the PM would not put no-deal in an upcoming manifesto.

The clear-the-air talks followed claims by a senior Number 10 aide - thought to be the PM's top adviser Dominic Cummings - that the Conservatives would need to campaign on such a platform in order to stop their supporters flocking to the Brexit Party.

One Nation group chairman Damian Green told Sky News: “The PM agreed with us that he doesn’t see no-deal in that manifesto.

“So I think we can be confident that the idea that a government would go on into a general election saying what we want is no deal, which is the Brexit Party policy, that will not be the Conservative Party policy.”

Asked how sure he could be of the PM’s commitment, Mr Green said: “All I can say is what the PM said to me face-to-face across the Cabinet table today.

“And I believe what he told me.”

But on Thursday a senior Downing Street official pushed back on that claim, saying no official manifesto position has been signed off.

They told Politico: “It may have to be straight no deal or it may not depending on the situation.

“We are keeping our options open. I suspect Damian Green has over-interpreted the meeting.

“There are many cards left to play in the game before we get to a manifesto.”

The One Nation group has been approached for comment.