europe

No deal RETURNS: Hard Brexit not off table even if Boris wins, admits Tory minister


Rishi Sunak, who is a key member of Michael Gove’s no deal planning committee, has said preparations for Britain leaving the EU without an agreement will kick start once again before the January 31, 2020, Brexit deadline. Mr Sunak, who is seen as a rising star in the Tory party, said planning will still take place for a no deal exit even if the Tories win a majority in the election because there are “all sorts of scenarios that might happen”. However the chief secretary to the treasury has insisted the planning should not need to come to fruition as the Conservatives would prefer to exit the bloc on Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement.

Mr Sunak when asked if no deal planning meetings would resume before January 31, he told The Telegraph: “Yep.”

He added: “We hope we come back with a majority, in that case we will want to get this deal through, so in theory no deal should not be something that needs to happen.

“But there are all sorts of scenarios that might happen.”

Mr Sunak’s remarks comes as Boris Johnson claimed there was “absolutely zero” chance the UK would break away from the bloc without a trade deal in place.

On the campaign trail Mr Johnson also confirmed the UK would not extend the current transition period beyond December 31, 2020.

Mr Johnson insisted the UK is “ready to go” and all he would need is a “few weeks” after the election to finally guide the UK out of the bloc.

He said: “The reality is we’re there and we’re ready to go.

“All we need is a few weeks, we’ll bring this thing back in December if we’re lucky enough to be re-elected and we’ll put it back to Parliament and we’re out in January and we focus on the priorities of the British people.”

Mr Sunak is a member of the ministerial committee, codenamed XO, and insists even if the no deal planning is not implemented it will be useful during negotiations for the future relationship with the EU.

Mr Sunak said “Ultimately our goal for the future relationship is to leave the customs union, to leave the single market, that means a lot of the things we were preparing people to do will still be relevant. “

He added: “A lot of the work we’ve done will have enormous relevance going forward in all cases.”

READ MORE: Small businesses slam Corbyn for going against 2017 taxes pledge 

Chuka Umunna Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the cities of London and Westminster constituency said Mr Sunak had “let the cat out of the bag” and claimed the Conservatives would take Britain out of the EU without a trade agreement.

Mr Umunna told the BBC: “Rishi Sunak, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has let the cat out of the bag.

“They are trying to take us out without any trade deal at the end of next year.”



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