The Prime Minister will use his speech at the Conservative Party Conference to say “we can, we must and we will” get Brexit done because voters feel they are being “taken for fools” by Westminster’s politicians.
He will outline a proposal for a Brexit deal that will be delivered to the EU, and say that if they will not accept it, the UK will leave the EU without a deal on October 31.
This suggests that Johnson’s government is prepared to break the legislation known as the Benn Act, or being branded the “surrender act” by Johnson, in which MPs voted that the UK should not crash out of the EU with no deal.
This is the clearest indication yet that the Prime Minister is not prepared to ask for an extension to iron out a deal acceptable to the British government and those of the other EU countries – and most importantly Ireland which would face a hard border with Northern Ireland in event of a no-deal Brexit – or indeed, the deal that Johnson is proposing.
“Trying to avoid a deal to get to no-deal as we always assumed they were going to do
Last night, Jonathan Powell, chief negotiator in the Northern Ireland peace agreement explained why any such deal which involves more borders in Ireland would be unacceptable to people in Northern Ireland and the Republic.
He said Boris Johnson and his controversial adviser Dominic Cummings who ran the Leave EU campaign were not genuinely trying to leave the EU with a deal but get a no-deal and “blame Brussels.”
“It’s a variant of the deal offered yesterday that was exposed by the leaks yesterday – in other words it’s imposing a hard border in Northern Ireland which is the opposite of what we promised at the beginning of this negotiation with the EU,” said Powell, who had been an advisor under Tony Blair and chief British negotiator in the Belfast peace talks.
“It’s not therefor going to be acceptable to the EU. It’s not going to be accceptable in Northern Ireland to the majority of the population and it’s not going to be acceptable in the Republic of Ireland.
“It is not a serious proposal,” he told BBC’s Newsnight. “Presumably what they are doing is simply trying to avoid a deal to get to no-deal as we always assumed they were going to do.
“This is the final confirmation that’s their aim.”
Asked by Emily Maitlis if the strategy is going to be to propose a deal impossible for the EU to agree to, he added:
“It is about the blame game – trying to blame Brussels for this, and I think the quote from Dominic Cummings in the Daily Telegraph story where he says ‘we are going to offer this to them once and then walk away and not negotiate’ suggests that is exactly what their aim is.”
A senior Number 10 official said: “The Government is either going to be negotiating a new deal or working on no deal – nobody will work on delay,” confirming the worst fears of those who thought Johnson may respect the law and ask for a Brexit extension if his deal as expected is impossible for EU countries to accept.
October 31 ultimatum
Johnson will today again rule out extending Brexit negotiations to avoid leaving the EU with no deal – despite the devastating consequences revealed in the government’s own assessments of no-deal Brexit.
He will also rule out another taking the decision back giving the public the final say on the fate of the country with another referendum.
In his headline speech to the Conservative Party Conference, Johnson will also deflect from the economic devastation of a no-deal Brexit by turning his fire on the Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
He will say: “Corbyn wants to turn the whole of 2020 – which should be a great year for this country – into the chaos and cacophony of two more referendums – a second referendum on Scottish independence, even though the people of Scotland were promised that the 2014 vote would be a once-in-a-generation vote, and a second referendum on the EU, even though we were promised that the 2016 vote would be a once-in-a-generation vote.
“Can you imagine another three years of this? That is the Corbyn agenda – stay in the EU beyond October 31, paying a billion pounds a month for the privilege, followed by years of uncertainty for business and everyone else.
“My friends, I am afraid that after three-and-a-half years people are beginning to feel that they are being taken for fools.
“They are beginning to suspect that there are forces in this country that simply don’t want Brexit delivered at all.
“And if they turn out to be right in that suspicion then I believe there will be grave consequences for trust in democracy.
“Let’s get Brexit done on October 31 so in 2020 our country can move on.”