Boris Johnson has confirmed he will follow through his promise to take the UK out on 1 January 2021 – deal or no deal. In his party’s manifesto, he pledged to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU next year but refused to extend the implementation period beyond December 2020. The manifesto states: “We will negotiate a trade agreement next year – one that will strengthen our union – and we will not extend the implementation period beyond December 2020.”
The transition period allows the current terms between the UK and EU to continue while a trade deal is negotiated. This is different from the withdrawal terms.
Mr Johnson’s commitment has effectively opened a “trapdoor” to a no-deal Brexit, with trade experts saying negotiating the future relationship in less than 12 months is not realistic.
Unveiled on Sunday, the manifesto said resolving the Brexit deadlock and pulling the country out of the EU by January 31 was of the most importance.
It said: “Our priority as Conservatives is to get Brexit done – so that we can unleash the potential of this great country.”
The document also pledged that the UK’s transition out of Brussels regulations including free movement would last no longer than the end of next year.
It added: “We will keep the UK out of the single market, out of any form of customs union, and end the role of the European Court of Justice.”
The Tories would aim to secure free trade agreements to cover 80 percent of UK trade within three years.
Those deals would start with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan and would be done at in parallel with EU talks – despite the fact Brussels took seven years to negotiate a previous trade deal with Canada.
He said: “We can start a new year, with a new government, without arguing about whether we’re staying [in] or leaving the EU.”
The Conservative Party unveiled their election manifesto yesterday, promising a “green industrial revolution” and “superb public services”.
Mr Johnson wrote: “For the last three and half years, this country has felt trapped, like a lion in a cage,” he wrote.
“Get Brexit done and we can release that lion from its cage and take this amazing country forward.”