Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said leaving the European Union without a deal on future trade would be a “good outcome” for Britain, warning that London will walk away from talks with Brussels unless agreement can be found by mid-October.
In another potential blow to the negotiations on post-Brexit trade, which are due to resume on Tuesday, Johnson’s government wants to pass a bill in parliament to override part of Britain’s EU withdrawal agreement, the Financial Times reported.
An “internal market bill,” due to be published on Wednesday, would override provisions in the withdrawal agreement on state aid and separate customs arrangements for Northern Ireland, the newspaper said.
Johnson is expected to insist on Monday that any agreement on future trade must be finalized by October 15, Downing Street said.
“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,” he said in advance excerpts of his remarks.
In the absence of an agreement, Britain would begin trading with the EU under World Trade Organization rules, like Australia, Johnson said. “I want to be absolutely clear that, as we have said right from the start, that would be a good outcome for the UK,” he said.
Britain formally left the EU in January and entered a transition period until the end of the year, during which it still belongs to the EU single market and customs union.