Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May, has acknowledged that London would need cooperation from the European Union to cushion potential shocks in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson has repeatedly insisted Britain should leave the bloc on the current deadline of October 31, even if it means walking away with no deal.
But avoiding disruption to borders and business would require the EU’s support.
“It’s not just up to us, it’s up to the other side as well. There’s an element of course, a very important element, of mutuality and cooperation in this,” he told the BBC in an interview aired on Monday.
“The way to get our friends and partners to understand how serious we are is finally, I’m afraid, to abandon the defeatism and negativity… and to prepare confidently and seriously for a (World Trade Organisation) or no-deal outcome.”
Without a Brexit deal between London and Brussels, the UK will default to “third country” status with the EU, with trade relations run on World Trade Organisation rules.
Hot favourite Johnson faces foreign minister Jeremy Hunt in a run-off vote to decide who will become the next British leader and take on the task of piloting the country’s departure from the EU.
The former foreign minister and one-time London mayor has been accused of not having a detailed plan to take Britain out of the European Union.
Johnson said May’s current EU withdrawal agreement is “dead” after being rejected three times by the British parliament.
However, he believes there would be enough time to negotiate a new agreement with the EU ahead of the deadline and hoped the bloc would be willing to grant an “implementation period”.
If he were to win, he said his government would not impose controls or hard borders between EU member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland — an issue that has become one of the main sticking points in EU negotiations.
Johnson has also come under growing pressure following a scandal over an argument with his girlfriend that led to a police visit to their home last week.
“I’ve made it a rule over many, many years… I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones,” adding that it would be “simply unfair” to “drag them into things”, he told the BBC.
Johnson, 55, was involved in a loud altercation early Friday at the home of his 31-year-old girlfriend Carrie Symonds, an incident that has since dominated press headlines.
Photographs emerged Monday of the couple smiling and holding hands at an undisclosed countryside location said to have been taken on Sunday.
‘The wheels are coming off’: MSNBC panel says Trump told his chief of staff to ‘walk the plank’
Two MSNBC anchors discussed Thursday's whirlwind day of breaking news in scandals involving President Donald Trump.
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" joined Brian Williams on "The 11th Hour" to discuss Trump holding the G7 Summit at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course and the White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, confessing that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine -- before attempting to walk back his confession.
"Did things change today, do you think?" Williams asked.
"I do feel like the wheels are coming off," Maddow said.
"For the Energy Secretary [Rick Perry] to resign, you've had two cabinet secretaries resign during the impeachment proceedings already, one of whom, the current one resigning tonight, the Energy Secretary, does appear to be involved in the scheme, at least on a couple of different levels. We have got the White House Chief of Staff who was sent out today, not only to make the, 'Yes, it was quid pro quo. Yes, we did it. What are you going to make of it?' article -- which was bracing, but then to take it back, simultaneously announcing this self-dealing, which is something more blatant than we’ve ever seen from any president in U.S. history," she explained.
Rick Wilson rips Trump for holding G7 meeting at his ‘South Florida House of Bed Bugs Hotel’
Republican strategist Rick Willson blasted President Donald Trump after the administration announced that the G7 meeting of world leaders would be held at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course.
Chief of staff and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the severely under-performing resort would receive the lucrative contract during a contentious White House briefing.
Trump impersonated a CNN anchor — and a US president — during epic meltdown at Texas speech
President Donald Trump offered multiple impersonations during a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas on Thursday.
Trump showed the crowd his impersonation of a president of the United States -- and a CNN anchor.
"No guns. No religion. No oil. No natural gas," Trump said. "Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas under those circumstances. Couldn’t do it."
In fact, Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas when he ran for president as the state refused to print any ballots with his name.
He then showed the audience two impersonations as part of his 87-minute speech.
"I used it to say, I can be more presidential. Look," Trump said, as he shuffled awkwardly on stage.