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'Plain and simple lies': MPs attack Boris Johnson after PM tells UK to get ready for No Deal

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read

Watch: Boris Johnson says UK should prepare for no-deal break with EU

  • Boris Johnson has told nation to prepare for no-deal in post-Brexit trade talks

  • Labour MP accuses PM of having told public “plain and simple lies” about Brexit

  • Talks are set to continue on Monday but Johnson has warned EU needs to show “fundamental change in approach” for negotiations to succeed

  • Visit the Yahoo homepage for more stories

Boris Johnson has been accused of telling “plain and simple lies” over Brexit after telling the nation to prepare for a no-deal outcome from trade talks with the EU.

It comes after Johnson said the UK will pursue the so-called “Australia solution” – the prime minister’s language for no-deal – unless there is a “fundamental change in approach” from the EU side.

Johnson accused the EU of wanting the “continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is completely unacceptable to an independent country”.

With the “transition period” – which has seen the UK effectively remain as EU members since departing in January – ending on 31 December, the PM said he was making a “judgment about the likely outcome and [getting] us ready”.

Screengrab taken from handout video issued by Downing Street of Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, London, giving a statement on post-Brexit trade talks.
Boris Johnson gives his statement on post-Brexit trade talks. (PA)

He also accused the EU of refusing to “negotiate seriously”.

A number of opposition MPs were unhappy:

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Christine Jardine also said his comments “are just further evidence of the PM’s incompetence”.

She added: “At a time when the UK is already facing the biggest crisis in generations as a result of coronavirus, we cannot afford to crash out of the EU without a deal in place or to accept a rushed, bad deal.”

Johnson won last year’s general election under his “get Brexit done” mantra, which was repeated hundreds of times over the course of the campaign.

While he delivered this by overseeing the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January, he has since been under pressure to deliver a trade agreement.

However, hardliner Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader who was outmaneuvered by Johnson before the election and ended up with no seats, welcomed the PM’s update:

The EU negotiating team, led by Michel Barnier, will be heading to London on Monday to continue negotiations.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, responding to Johnson’s statement, said:

Meanwhile, the pound dropped following Johnson’s no-deal announcement. It had been trading higher against the euro and dollar but dropped in the wake of the statement