Boris Johnson has said that one year is “bags of time” to negotiate a new free-trade agreement and post-Brexit relationship between the U.K. and EU.
“There is absolutely no reason why between January and the end of next year, we shouldnt complete that free-trade deal and have a wonderful new partnership with the EU based on zero tariffs, zero quotas,” the prime minister said on BBC Breakfast this morning.
“On developing the free-trade partnership, well have bags of time to do it,” he added. “The deal that well be doing with the EU is unlike any other deal they have ever done. Theyre doing it with a state that is already in perfect harmony with their arrangements.”
If Johnson wins the election and gets his Brexit deal through parliament in January, that leaves a one-year transition period in which the U.K. and EU can negotiate their future trading relationship.
If the U.K. wants to ask to ask for more time, it must do so by July 1, 2020. But Johnson has repeatedly ruled that out. “I dont want an extension,” Johnson told the BBC, and said he wont ask for one if he wins a parliamentary majority in the upcoming election.
His stance has sparked fears that the U.K. could leave the EU without a deal at the end of 2020, if no agreement on the future relationship has been reached by then. Experts have said one year is not enough time for a complex new trading agreement to be negotiated.