Mr Davis has admitted he believes a “no deal” Brexit is the most likely outcome this autumn due to the “uncompromising” stance of both the European Commission and Boris Johnson – but added it is the EU that has the most to lose in such a case. He highlighted the EU27 would lose the most jobs in the case of a no deal Brexit, with an estimated 422,000 peoples livelihoods at stake. Since wining the Tory leadership, Mr Johnson has remained adamant the UK will have left the Brussels bloc by the end of October, “do or die”.
Warning the EU of what is at stake in event of a no deal Brexit, Mr Davis wrote in The Telegraph: “The nations of Europe are gambling more than we are on this.
“A study last year by the respected German Halle Institute showed 12,000 jobs at risk in the UK from a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“The equivalent figure for the EU27 is an astonishing 422,000 jobs, including 100,000 German and 50,000 French jobs.”
After Theresa May’s plan was defeated, the Brexit deadline was extended to October 31 and to avoid a no deal Brexit come this Autumn, the UK Government must pass a Brexit divorce plan into law, obtain another extension from the EU, or cancel Brexit.
The former Brexit Secretary mocked the scaremongers who have claimed “thousands are going to die as a result of lettuce shortages” if there were to be a no deal Brexit and said this would not be the case.
Although Mr Davis said the Government was in for a “bumpy ride”, he added a “reasonably competent Government” would be able to handle it.
He said: “So we face a small risk with significant upside opportunities: Europe faces terrible risk and no upside.
“You can never reliably predict an idiosyncratic institution like EU Commission, but my hunch is that very soon after a no deal departure, they will be back at the negotiating table. And looking for a deal.”
Critics of a no deal Brexit say it would damage the economy and lead to border posts between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Mr Davis said under a no deal exit, there will be issues that must be resolved, such as the preparation of small business for departure, but he said that these problems can be “managed”.
Michael Gove has said the UK Government is now working “on the assumption” that the UK is going to leave the EU without a deal.
Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Gove said: “The EU’s leaders have, so far, said they will not change their approach – it’s the unreformed withdrawal agreement, take it or leave it.
“We still hope they will change their minds, but we must operate on the assumption that they will not.”