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Brexit: Johnson, “I want to negotiate deals with the whole world”. But spectre of “no-deal” still looming

(London) The UK is ready to strike agreements with the EU but also with the US and Australia. The first speech by Prime Minster Boris Johnson in post-Brexit Britain today was both an ode to free trade, which – according to the prime minister – has always ensured “prosperity for all”, and a firm declaration that the UK’s national interests would be respected. The spectre of a “no-deal”, however, is still looming since there are fears that the UK and the EU will be unable to reach a trade deal. In a press conference following his speech this morning, Boris Johnson was very vague in his response to a journalist who had asked him to rule out that the UK would lose access to the EU market. “I want to negotiate agreements with all countries around the world”, Johnson said, carefully avoiding any reference to a “no deal”. The prime minister was also very clear about the right to fish in UK waters. “I want to reach a compromise”, he said, that reflects “the fact that the UK” is “an independent coastal state”, “controlling its own waters”. “There would be annual negotiations with the EU” on fishing quotas, “using the latest scientific data”, to ensure that “British fishing grounds are first and foremost for British boats”.

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