Boris Johnson says 'no one is gong to be talking about Brexit' after January 2020

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer

Boris Johnson has spent every day of the general election campaign talking about Brexit - but he believes we’ll all stop talking about it after January next year.

With just a week to go to the vote, the Prime Minister suggested that if he wins and Britain leaves the EU by the January 31st deadline, the country will be able to move on.

He told ITV’s Peston: "We will have got Brexit done and you will find that it moves, because what will happen is that the parliamentary agony will be over, and the political agony will be over, and the misery and tedium and procrastination that's been going on will be over.”

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses supporters as he unveils the Conservative party General Election campaign bus in Manchester, northwest England on November 15, 2019. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson said people will stop talking about Brexit after January next year (Getty)

Free trade deal problems

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously said Mr Johnson's promise to "get Brexit done" is a "fraud on the British people", adding that Mr Johnson's deal is just the beginning of years of negotiations.

It was suggested to Mr Johnson that he could not achieve Brexit within a year, and it was pointed out to him how long it took to negotiate Theresa May's deal and a Canadian free trade deal.

The Prime Minister told Peston: "Have you ever known, have you ever known two countries start free trade negotiations or start negotiations on a new deal when they were already, already in perfect alignment in regulatory terms and had zero quotas between them? That's where we are.”

El primer ministro de Gran Bretaña Boris Johnson llega a una cumbre de la OTAN, en el hotel The Grove, en Watford, Hertfordshire, Inglaterra, el 4 de diciembre de 2019. (AP Foto/Matt Dunham)
The Prime Minister believes that Britain can secure a free trade agreement in 11 months (AP)

However, the government has until December 31st - just 11 months after leaving the EU - to strike a free trade deal and experts believe this will prove difficult.

Catherine Barnard, a professor of EU law at the University of Cambridge, told the Brexit select committee earlier this year that the “average period of time for negotiating a trade agreement is 48 months”.

No-deal likely?

With a free trade agreement difficult to attain by the December deadline, the chances of there still being a no-deal Brexit are more likely.

Tellingly, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak refused to rule out no-deal when questioned over it on the ITV debate.

Mr Sunak, who is a key member of Michael Gove’s no-deal planning committee, also told the Telegraph last month that preparations for no-deal would continue.

Conservatives' Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak, right and Labour's shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey speak, during a general election debate in Cardiff, Wales, Friday, Nov.  29, 2019. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
Rishi Sunak refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit during the ITV debate (AP)

He said: “We hope we come back with a majority, in that case we will want to get this deal through, so in theory no deal should not be something that needs to happen.

“But there are all sorts of scenarios that might happen.”

The UK is able to extend the transition period for up to two years, under an option that made up Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

However, Mr Johnson has made it clear that he would not extend the transition period - a promise that convinced Nigel Farage to stand down Brexit Party candidates to help the Tories in the election.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson dons protective safety wear as he prepares to change a wheel of a Formula One (F1) race car during a Conservative Party general election campaign visit to Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes, north of London on December 4, 2019. - Britain will go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mr Johnson insists he did not force Tory candidates to back his Brexit deal (Getty)

Support for the deal

Mr Johnson is still hoping that his deal will pass but denied forcing Tory candidates to sign up to it.

He told Peston: "I have not forced them, that is totally unfair, there was absolutely no lobotomy…"

Pressed on whether he did not say they could not be candidates, he said: "No, not at all.”

Last month, Mr Johnson said that all Tory parliamentary candidates have vowed to vote for his Brexit deal if he wins a majority at the General Election.