Boris warns EU that Britain will slash tax and red tape after No Deal

Boris Johnson warns Brussels that Britain will slash red tape and taxes to seize its business if UK leaves with No Deal – as former Brexit department chief says plans for crashing out are in ‘good shape’

  • Boris Johnson has stepped up his rhetoric over No Deal in October if necessary
  • Tory front runner suggested the UK will slash taxes and red tape to compete
  • Ex-Brexit Department head warns of No Deal fallout but plans ‘in good shape’

Boris Johnson today warned Brussels that the UK will slash red tape and taxes to compete if it is forced to leave with No Deal.

The Tory front runner delivered the threat as he insisted October 31 will not be a ‘fake’ deadline – saying he will make sure Britain is ‘match fit’ to leave by then.

Meanwhile, the former top civil servant at the Brexit department has insisted planning for No Deal is in ‘good shape’ – while cautioning that there will be consequences for the economy.  

The race to succeed Theresa May has just over a fortnight left to run, with Mr Johnson hot favourite to defeat rival Jeremy Hunt.  

However, the scale of the task he faces to keep his pledge of leaving by Halloween ‘come what may’ has been underlined, with claims 30 Tories are ready to rebel to block No Deal.

Boris Johnson (pictured at hustings in Cardiff yesterday) has insisted October 31 will not be a ‘fake’ deadline – saying he will make sure Britain is ‘match fit’ to leave by then

Ex-Attorney General Dominic Grieve is tabling an amendment to legislation on Northern Ireland tonight that attempts to block a PM from suspending Parliament to force through No Deal.  

Writing on the BrexitCentral website, Mr Johnson vowed to defy the revolt. 

‘We need a change of direction. That’s why we must treat October 31 as a real deadline for leaving the EU, come what may, not a fake one,’ he said.

The former foreign secretary said the UK will have the ‘fiscal firepower’ to provide cash to support business and farmers affected by a no-deal Brexit.

He also made clear the UK would be prepared to tear up red tape and slash taxes.

‘We will be free to substantially diverge on tax and regulation,’ he said.

‘I have had enough of being told that we cannot do it – that the sixth biggest economy in the world is not strong enough to run itself and go forward in the world.’

In a stark message, Mr Johnson said: ‘If our friends feel they cannot agree, then we will be match fit for no deal.’

Mr Johnson, frontman for the Vote Leave campaign, said he felt a ‘deep sense of personal responsibility for Brexit’, adding: ‘This is it. No second chances.

‘We can choose more of the same, or we can choose change: delivering Brexit on October 31, uniting the country and beating (Jeremy) Corbyn.’

He restated his promise to protect the rights of EU expats in the UK and to put the £39 billion divorce settlement in a state of ‘creative ambiguity’ to use as leverage to secure a deal.

Discussions about the thorny issue of the Irish border would be put into the talks on the future trading relationship under his plan.  

Mr Johnson also used his regular Daily Telegraph column to argue the case for increasing access to apprenticeships.

‘We need to make sure that we not only properly fund all manner of technical and vocational education – from further education colleges to apprenticeships – and if I am lucky enough to be elected, we will.’

Mr Johnson is the hot favourite to defeat Jeremy Hunt (pictured at hustings in Cardiff yesterday) and become the next PM

Mr Johnson would aim to boost non-university options as ways of getting ahead and reinvigorate plans for a £100million ‘retraining fund’ to give workers useful skills. 

The former permanent secretary at the Brexit Department, Philip Rycroft, said that No Deal preparations were well advanced, but it was something the public should be ‘worried’ about.

Interviewed for a BBC Panorama documentary to be aired tonight, Mr Rycroft said there were around ‘16,000 civil servants whose jobs are dedicated to Brexit-related issues’, in what he calls ‘an unprecedented situation’ and ‘the biggest exercise across Government we’ve seen over the last few decades’.

He added: ‘The planning I think is in good shape, absolutely… but of course what that doesn’t mean is that there won’t be an impact from Brexit, and particularly a no-deal Brexit, because that is a very major change and it would be a very abrupt change to our major trading relationship.’ 

He added: ‘I think everybody should be worried about what happens in a No Deal situation. We would be taking a step into the unknown.’ 

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