Prominent Brexit critic Guy Verhofstadt said Boris Johnson’s deal is a “recipe for chaos”
The prime minister argued that the UK will “prosper mightily” even if a deal with the EU is not finalised
Logistics groups have asked to meet ministers over their border concerns
A prominent MEP and Brexit critic has mocked Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal as a “recipe for chaos” in contrast to the prime minister’s preferred description of it as an “oven-ready deal”.
Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister, who has repeatedly used his platform to criticise the UK’s departure from the EU, tweeted a survey from June showing a majority of Brits favoured rejoining the bloc.
The European Social Survey findings show that 56.8% of people in the UK wanted to rejoin the EU, while 34.9% preferred to stay out.
Verhofstadt said this survey showed support for the union across the EU. Non-EU states Norway and Switzerland had the lowest levels of support for joining, the graph tweeted by the MEP revealed.
Johnson, meanwhile, has insisted the UK will do well even if a deal is not struck with the EU.
Johnson sold Brexit to the public on the promise of an "oven ready deal", but all we see is a recipe for chaos.
Unsurprising a huge majority of British want to rejoin & support for the EU grows across 🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/MhU6YxZrID
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) September 4, 2020
The PM described his Brexit plan as “oven-ready” deal during the 2019 election campaign.
Verhofstadt’s comments come as the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he was “worried and disappointed” over a lack of concessions from the UK in talks, which he said risked a no-deal Brexit.
However, Downing Street said he was providing a “misleading representation of our proposals aimed at deflecting scrutiny from the EU’s own positions which are unrealistic and unprecedented”.
Haulage bosses wrote to the government to highlight fears that the UK-EU supply chain will be badly affected if issues are not resolved before Brexit.
Eight logistics groups including the Road Haulage Association said they wanted to meet with ministers to discuss areas including IT systems and physical border infrastructure.
“If these issues are not addressed disruption to UK business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted,” their message said.
It adds: “The Covid pandemic has demonstrated to both Government and the general public the importance of a free-flowing supply chain, and with transition occurring at the same time as a potential second Covid spike it is critical we ensure the supply chain is protected.
“We are asking you to take seriously our concerns and listen to the detail during this roundtable so that we can collectively help Government manage through this enormous challenge with as little disruption as possible.
“Our aim, like yours, is to have a functional and effective border that allows goods to flow from January 1 2021.”
Johnson said the UK will “prosper mightily” even if a trade deal is not completed with the EU, saying the government was prepared.
He said: “We will get through this. It’s vital that our partners understand that the UK is going to do what we need to do.
“If we need to have an Australia-style deal, an Australia-style solution, then that is what we will achieve and we will prosper mightily one way or the other.
“They could be sensible and give us a Canada-style solution, which after all they’ve given Canada, and I very much hope they will, but we’re ready for either eventuality.”