We’ll leave EU by Jan 31, 2020: Johnson

London, Nov 15 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated on Friday that the country will leave the European Union (EU) by January 31, 2020, following the December 12 general election.

“There is absolutely no reason why between January and the end of next year we shouldn’t complete that free trade deal and have a wonderful new partnership with the EU based on zero tariffs, zero quotas and getting on with all the other ways in which we want to be a pro-European country,” Johnson told the BBC Breakfast programme.

The UK is currently due to leave the EU by January 31, 2020, the end of the current extension period granted by the bloc.

“The deal that we’ll be doing with the EU is unlike any other deal they have ever done. They’re doing it with a state that is already in perfect harmony with their arrangements,” Johnson said.

“All we have to do is protract those arrangements where appropriate, come out of regulatory alignment and set up a joint committee so that we can discuss if there are any further changes we want to make, we can discuss those together.”

After that, he said that the UK could get on with “doing things differently”, on “everything from cutting VAT on tampons… to putting free ports around the UK”.

Responding to the assertion that the government has delayed Brexit, the Prime Minister said: “Parliament blocked us, which is why we’re having this election. I don’t want to have this election now.”

His appearance on the BBC Breakfast show was one of the programme’s first interviews with party leaders ahead of the election.

A major focus of the election will be on areas that voted strongly to Leave or strongly to Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

–IANS
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