The Prime Minister has suggested that Brexit will no longer be talked about after January by which time he says the UK will have left the European Union.
Boris Johnson also denied that Conservative candidates were forced to sign up to his deal, describing the suggestion as “totally unfair,” even though he has previously boasted any candidates running for election had to pledge to support his Brexit deal in a move slammed as undemocratic and dangerous.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously said Johnson’s promise to “get Brexit done” is a “fraud on the British people”, adding that Mr Johnson’s deal is “just the beginning of years” of negotiations.
And as Johnson was boasting about how easy it was alleging to be on TV, leaked EU documents revealed the road map of lengthy negotiations ahead after the election which could take years, despite Boris Johnson rashly vowing January will be the end of it.
Boris Johnson’s election slogan had been “getting Brexit done”, but on December 12, EU leaders are set to unveil lengthy EU summits with negotiations on Brexit that Johnson insists must be sorted by the end of 2020.
If you thought the years of negotiations and no-deal cliff edges Britain has faced with the withdrawal deal had been a nightmare, the leaked documents seen by The Independent newspaper insist that no deals can be struck with single nations, and will leave the UK facing another no-dealBrexit cliff edge at the end of 2020 which nobody believes is enough time to renegotiate UK’s relationship with the EU.
Yet Boris Johnson, asked on ITV’s Peston if everybody will stop talking about Brexit after the end of January, blithely insisted: “Yes, and now let me say something.
“We will have got Brexit done and you will find that it moves, because what will happen is that the parliamentary agony will be over, and the political agony will be over, and the misery and tedium and procrastination that’s been going on will be over.”
It was suggested to Johnson that he could not achieve Brexit within a year, and it was pointed out to him how long it took to negotiate Theresa May’s deal and a Canadian free trade deal. But the scarily confident Prime Minister told Peston: “Have you ever known, have you ever known two countries start free trade negotiations or start negotiations on a new deal when they were already, already in perfect alignment in regulatory terms and had zero tariffs and zero quotas between them? That’s where we are.”
Which meant Robert Peston had to point out that that would involve following EU rules still. Only with no say over them any more.
On the suggestion that Tory candidates were forced to sign up to his deal, Johnson said: “I have not forced them, that is totally unfair, there was absolutely no lobotomy…”
Pressed on whether he did not say they could not be candidates, he said: “No, not at all.”
Yet only last month, Johnson boasted that all Tory parliamentary candidates have vowed to vote for his Brexit deal if he wins a majority at the General Election.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister said this pledge means that voters can be “100%” certain that a Conservative government will “unblock” Parliament and deliver Brexit.
Commenting on his interview with Johnson, Labour’s Barry Gardiner said to Peston: “Quite honestly, if I wanted to see two men shouting at each other without listening, I’d go down to the local pub.
“All he did was bully, hector, and ignore the questions that you put to him. And that is the nature of this man who’s putting himself forward to be elected as our prime minister.
“As a prime minister, what I want to see is somebody who’s prepared to take on the hard questions and actually try and give you a serious answer to them.
“He didn’t do that with you. He certainly didn’t do it with Marr on Sunday, and he’s refused to do it with Andrew Neil.
“The guy’s running scared of any genuine sort of scrutiny that we could give to him.”
On the Prime Minister being questioned about Brexit, Barry Gardiner said: “You challenged him, you challenged him on how he was going to get it done. He didn’t have an answer, he just kept on repeating the slogan.”
Meanwhile, Labour’s John McDonnell has accused Donald Trump of having a “passing relationship with reality and truth” but insisted Jeremy Corbyn would work with the US president.
Boris Johnson said the NHS was not discussed with the US president when the pair met for talks and he described claims about the NHS being used as a bargaining chip as “complete nonsense”.
A “sell off” the public health service to US corporations during a post-Brexit trade deal has been a worry ever since Channel 4’s Dispatches revealed trade discussions to allow US medical companies to profit more from the NHS and Labour got hold of leaked details after the government fought their release.
Trump insisted America wants “nothing to do with” the NHS, even if it was “handed to us on a silver platter”, as he arrived in London for the Nato summit.
But John McDonnell said on Wednesday that “all the evidence that we’ve seen has demonstrated objectively that it is”, despite the denials of Mr Trump and Mr Johnson.
Meanwhile, a Savanta ComRes poll for the Daily Telegraph, published with a week to go until polling day, gives the Conservatives a 10-point lead over Labour.
The poll has the Tories on 42%, Labour on 32%, and the Lib Dems on 12%.
According to voting analysis website Electoral Calculus, if the parties were to achieve these vote shares, it would result in the Conservatives having a comfortable majority of 48.
Chris Hopkins, head of politics at Savanta ComRes, said: “There’s still a lot to play for – including the sharp increase in those who have told us in this poll they’re likely to vote for minor parties or independent candidates – but time is running out for the established parties to make their pitch to voters that a cross should be placed next to their name in one weeks’ time.”
Meanwhile a study by Remain United revealed the massive difference voting tactically according to their tactical voting website would make to the result, with Tory bigwigs unseated and a hung parliament leaving a Conservative government unlikely.
48% of Labour supporters and 55% of Lib Dem supporters confirm they are likely to vote tactically to stop a Conservative candidate being elected in their constituency.
Using the latest MRP technology on marginal seat data in conjunction with this calculated tactical vote swing, research by Remain United predicts an election result of Con 318, Lab 242, Lib 18, SNP 50, resulting in a hung parliament.