TORY PM Boris Johnson yesterday confirmed that if all attempts to get a deal with the EU fail then he is prepared leave the European Union ‘deal or no deal.’
Johnson said: ‘I am very hopeful that we will get a deal at that crucial EU summit and we are working very hard, we have been around the European capitals to talk to our friends.
‘I think that we can see the rough area, a landing space of how you could do it, it will be tough, it will be hard, but I think that we can get there.
‘And the crucial thing is that if we can’t get a deal, I really hope that we can, but if we can’t, then we will be ready to come out October 31 deal or no deal.’
Asked point blank if he lied to the Queen when he advised her to prorogue Parliament he replied: ‘Absolutely not and indeed as I say the High Court in England totally agrees with us, but the Supreme Court will have to decide … We need a Queen’s Speech, we need to get on and do all sorts of things.
‘… We have been going on in this Parliament for longer than any time since the Civil War, we need a Queen’s Speech, we need to get on with it, and Parliament will have time both before and after that crucial EU summit on October 17th/18th to talk about the Brexit deal.’
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said he was angry that MPs would not be able to debate the Yellowhammer document during the suspension.
The planning file – published on Wednesday after MPs forced its release – warned of food and fuel shortages in a no-deal scenario.
Asked if he personally believes that remaining in the EU is better than any possible deal, McDonnell replied: ‘Yes. You know that, I have said that, and I have said that at the time of the referendum, and I think it is still the same now. But people have to be given a say over this again. I think that the people should decide and they need to have the proper options in front of them. A Brexit deal, yes of course, but also the Remain option.’
His option does not include a No-Deal exit from the European Union.
Meanwhile Dave Penman, the leader of civil servants union FDA, in a letter to The Guardian yesterday warned the Tory PM that senior civil servants might be ‘forced to break the the law and may be prosecuted’ if they help him ‘ignore the settled will of Parliament’.
Penman writes: ‘Whatever political calculations that are being made about how this may play out with groups of the electorate, the suggestion that the government, and by implication the civil service, will be asked to ignore the settled will of Parliament, is causing increasing consternation among civil servants.
‘No civil servant should believe there is a conflict between complying with the law and serving the government of the day – and no Prime Minister should place the civil service in such an invidious position.’
He added: ‘There should be no grey areas when it comes to the duty to uphold the law and abide by the civil service code. Civil servants should not be placed in a position where they are expected to be, or are seen to be, arbiters of the law.’