BORIS Johnson could pay the EU billions of pounds for a deal to save Britain from any pain of a No Deal Brexit – as he insists he’s NOT bluffing his October 31 deadline.
The frontrunner to become the next Tory leader and PM has said he will withhold the £39billion of cash Theresa May has promised to pay the EU.
But he could splash some of the cash to avoid a harsh exit from the bloc on October 31 with a “bold and credible offer” – and get time for Britain to sign a proper trade deal.
Sources in Boris’ team told the Mail on Sunday he was prepared to give up a chunk of the divorce bill to keep our borders open for two more years – and keep trade the same as it is now.
However, Brussels has repeatedly said it won’t accept any side-deals and the current plan is the only one on the table.
The news comes as:
- Former rival Sajid Javid threw his weight behind Boris to become the next PM
- Boris is set to jet to America to visit President Trump in his first weeks in office
- A fresh plot to stop a No Deal Brexit was revealed by Tory MP Dominic Grieve
- Yet another poll had Boris with a 2-1 lead over Hunt among Tory members, but the public prefer the Health Secretary
- Critics said Boris was gearing up for an early election in September
Earlier Boris told the Sunday Telegraph he was deadly serious about his pledge to take Britain out without a deal.
When asked if he was bluffing, he said: “No, honestly, come on. We’ve got to show a bit more gumption about this.”
Under his plan Boris would be able to technically say that Britain had left by the end of October, but would arrange a “standstill” arrangement where everything stays the same for at least two years.
Brussels has offered Britain a transition period as part of the current deal, but they say that’s not on offer unless MPs accept Mrs May’s hated agreement.
And leaving without a deal would still throw up the tricky question over what to do about the Northern Ireland border.
His team think they may be able to escape putting up a border and risking violence as it would be “contrary to national security”.
One source said: “It would be a clever way of making things very uncomfortable for Brussels. We have the ability under GATT 21 to simply say no border. The pressure would then be on Dublin to explain what they are going to do about it.”
But others think this solution won’t work.
Boris has promised to use the £39billion of cash to spend on his tax cuts for Britain, and to increase spending on police and schools.
His team is also looking into whether the EU will budge on putting a time-limit on the hated backstop agreement for Northern Ireland, which they think could break the Commons deadlock.
The Sunday Times also reported Boris had been considering a plan
Sajid backs Boris: former rival endorses BoJo to be PM
SAJID Javid today gave Boris a huge boost by officially endorsing him to be Britain’s next PM – as he positioned himself to be the next Chancellor.
Mr Javid is the most senior member of the Government so far to come out for Team Boris, saying: “trust in our democracy will be at stake if we don’t make October 31 a ‘deal or no deal’ deadline”.
Writing in the Sunday Times he said: “Britain’s fundamental social and economic strengths have not changed. “We really can and will make a success of the coming years.”
Mr Javid has been widely tipped to be the next man in No11, and Philip Hammond set to be sent packing.
He’s expected to outline more in a speech on Tuesday.
‘WE CAN DO IT’
BoJo vows to ‘smash it out of the park’ as PM and end UK’s ‘diet of misery’
BoJo vows to help the low-paid by slashing VAT and making fewer pay NI
NO BOJO BRIDE
Loved-up Boris says talk of him marrying Carrie is ‘a tiny bit premature’
WHAT KATIE DID
Katie Price once flashed her boobs at BoJo at an ‘outrageous’ dinner party
Boris Johnson vows not to enter into election pact with Farage’s Brexit Party
BEST OF BRITAIN
BoJo demands all immigrants must learn English so they’ll ‘feel British’
REDS AT WAR
Corbyn’s top team ‘turn on him’ and demand he ousts aides holding him ‘captive’
Hunt would re-write treason laws to jail returning Brit jihadis for life
EUR PLAICE OR MINE?
Brussels admits EU fishermen will be barred from UK waters in No Deal
Theresa May was forced to sleep on a sofa after EU summit overran in Brussels
Thousands of Tory members have received their ballots this week and are already filling them in and returning them, despite there being another two weeks of the campaign left.
A fresh poll today showed Boris still had a 2-1 lead over his rival Jeremy Hunt.
47 per cent said Mr Johnson was best suited to run the country, compared to 29 per cent who said Hunt was.
But 34 per cent of the general public would prefer Hunt as PM compared to 27 per cent who want Boris, the research from ex-Tory party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft showed.
Rebel Remainer MPs in fresh bid to block a No Deal Brexit
REMAINER rebels have come up with a fresh plan to try and stop a No Deal Brexit, it was revealed today.
MPs led by Tory MP Dominic Grieve will try to hijack laws on Northern Ireland to make it legally binding for the next PM to make a statement to Parliament in October.
This would make it harder for Boris to call an election to ensure Brexit happens, or shut down the commons.
Mr Grieve told BBC’s Pienaar’s Politics today: “Northern Ireland and Brexit go very closely together.
“The chances are that if Brexit goes through as No Deal Brexit it’s going to be the end of the Northern Ireland union with the United Kingdom with serious political consequences flowing from it.
“So that’s a bill which is perfectly legitimate place to start looking at how one might make sure how a Brexit deal is fully debated before it takes place.”
Justice Secretary David Gauke said today that there are “sizeable numbers” prepared to line up and block a No Deal – and Sam Gyimah said it could be as high as 30.
Mr Gauke told the BBC he hoped Speaker Bercow would agree to a procedural “innovation” to get it done.
He added: “There will probably be a Parliamentary way this can be stopped… MPs will find a mechanism somehow.”
And he even said that Boris and Hunt hadn’t been honest about the threat of No Deal, saying they had not been “as candid about that as they might have been”.
Last week Mr Grieve’s attempt to try and put Parliament’s money to ransom was slapped down by Speaker Bercow, who failed to call his amendment.
That would have held back cash from vital government departments unless MPs voted to go through with a No Deal – something which isn’t likely to happen.
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