It would be bizarre for the European Union to impose tariffs on British goods flowing into the bloc after Brexit rather than agree a standstill agreement on trade, Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to be Britain’s next prime minister said.
“I think it would be very bizarre if the EU should decide on their own … if they decided to impose tariffs on goods coming from the UK it would be … a return to Napoleon’s continental system,” Johnson told LBC radio on Tuesday.
Gordon Brown, prime minister from 2007 to 2010, said the unity of the United Kingdom would be at greater risk than at any other time in its 300-year history if Johnson wins the top job.
“In jeopardy are both the unity and integrity of the United Kingdom and the shared values – tolerance, respect for diversity, being outward looking,” said Brown, who is from the now opposition Labour party.
Johnson, a former London mayor, refused to comment on reports of a heated late-night row with his girlfriend that led to the police being called to their home last week.
“I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones,” he said. “And there’s a very good reason for that. That is that, if you do, you drag them into things that, really, is, in a way that is not fair on them.”
His rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, on Monday described Johnson as a “coward” for avoiding public head-to-head debates with him.