The Chancellor has ramped up preparations for the UK to exit the EU without an agreement in just 96 days time. The new occupant of Number 11 has urged ministers to get their department in order before the Halloween deadline – and has ordered any requests to the Chancellor to be sent with the header “No deal planning”, reveals The Sun. One senior member of the Government said: “Saj has basically said the chequebook is open on no deal.”
The Prime Minister’s appointment of Vote Leave mastermind, Dominic Cummings, is understood to have been instrumental in the shift in Government policy.
The Prime Minister’s assembled Cabinet of Brexiteers, including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg – have all signed up to the strict Brexit deadline.
Mr Johnson has stated his priority remains to leave the bloc with a deal but is willing to walk away from negotiations if Brussels does not shift on its red lines – most notably the controversial Irish backstop.
Despite the opposition in the House of Commons to deliver Brexit, the former Mayor of London has insisted he will honour the result of the 2016 referendum “no ifs or buts”.
Arch-Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg, has dismissed the Commons vote put forward by Labour MP Hilary Benn and Tory MP Alistair Burt last week to thwart a no deal Brexit.
The chairman of the European Research Group has insisted the only way for Parliament to stop no deal would be to revoke Article 50 or change the Government.
Mr Rees-Mogg told the Daily Telegraph: “There is no way that Parliament can stop Brexit unless there is a vote of no confidence and there is a new government, or the law is changed, but how will the law be changed?
“All these people who witter on about no deal really don’t want to leave the European Union at all.
“It’s just code for saying they don’t want to leave and they think the referendum is a mistake.
“But they are not daring to put down a motion to revoke Article 50, are they?”
Meanwhile Britain has been given a post-Brexit boost after US president Donald Trump confirmed he and Mr Johnson are already working on a “very substantial” trade agreement.
The two world leaders spoke on the telephone on Friday evening and Mr Trump said any deal has the potential to be “three to four or five times what we’re doing”.
Mr Trump also hit out at Brussels and insisted the bloc had “impeded” Washington’s relationship with the UK.
Downing Street said the two leaders had “expressed their commitment to delivering an ambitious free trade agreement”.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “They agreed that Brexit offers an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the economic partnership between the UK and United States.”