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Britain could remain in the customs union and single market for another two years after Brexit, Boris Johnson said yesterday – as he suggested a negotiated deal with Brussels was still possible.
The PM had earlier clashed with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over his demand to 'abolish' the controversial backstop.
Visit - Wales - Elements - Theresa - May
But later, on a visit to Wales, he indicated that other elements of Theresa May's withdrawal deal could be revived – including a transition period designed to soften the impact on business of leaving the EU.
Mr Johnson repeated his determination to deliver Brexit by October 31 and said it would be the EU's fault if the UK ended up leaving without a deal. 'It is their call,' he said. 'It is up to them if they want us to do this.'
Prime - Minister - Hardline - Stance - No
The new Prime Minister has adopted a hardline stance since entering No 10 last week, ordering his ministers to focus on preparing the UK for a potential No Deal Brexit this autumn.
Sajid Javid is expected to confirm this week that he has released at least an extra £1billion for No Deal preparations.
Comments - Eurosceptics - Mr - Johnson - Yesterday
But, in comments that risk unnerving some Eurosceptics, Mr Johnson yesterday suggested he was still pursuing a Brexit transition lasting potentially until the middle of 2021.
He said: 'Some of the (No Deal) changes that are going to be necessary in the run-up to October 31 will be crucial anyway if we are going to come out of the customs union and single market, as we must, in the course of the next couple of years.'
Whitehall - Source - Mr - Johnson - Situation
A Whitehall source confirmed Mr Johnson was outlining the situation if he succeeds in securing a deal 'with an implementation period'. 'There has been a big shift,' the source said.
'In the past there was a lot of money for No Deal which would...
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