Johnson Pledges to Get UK’s ‘Mojo Back’, Plans Ministry for No Deal

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Prospective next prime minister Boris Johnson will create a Ministry of No Deal to prepare Britain for a clean break from the European Union.

The overhaul of the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) would be devoted entirely to planning for a no-deal exit on October 31st, the date by which Mr Johnson pledged to take the United Kingdom out of the EU “with or without a deal”, reports The Times.

The department will also be in charge of a communications campaign to increase public awareness of the Brexit situation, with Johnson focusing on rallying support from business for a clean exit.

Mr Johnson told the Daily Express in an interview published Friday that the country needs to get its “mojo back”, saying: “The three years will seem like a bad dream. We’ll get on with it and think much more about what we are going to do to unleash the talents and the potential of the whole country, that’s what I want to do.”

He added that Britain will leave the EU on time “come what may” and would not accept a further Brexit extension, saying: “Why would we have another extension? I don’t think there is any appetite in the UK for another extension, nobody wants it. I certainly won’t have it.

“And don’t forget how it works – at the moment, the UK leaves legally on October 31, that is the law. The only way that can be prevented is if a UK prime minister were to ask for an extension. Well, I’m not going to ask for an extension.”

The pledge should come as welcome news to Brexiteers in the Tory Party. Chairman of the pro-Leave European Research Group (ERG) Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Sun that he backs a no deal if the next prime minister cannot negotiate a new deal with the EU before the exit date.

Mr Rees-Mogg told the tabloid: “Boris has guaranteed that Brexit will happen by 31st October, and he won’t time-waste by resurrecting Theresa May’s EU deal which Parliament has voted against three times.

“Instead, Boris will hasten the country’s preparations for 31 October and offer the EU a free trade deal, similar to the one they offered us in 2018 which the last government declined.”

A number of Conservative rebels on Thursday helped ensure a 41-vote majority to back an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill which would prevent the full suspension of parliament. Mr Johnson is said to be considering prorogation as an option to stop the Remainer-dominated parliament from stopping a no-deal Brexit happening on October 31st.

At least 17 Tories were said to have defied the whip and voted against the government, while a number also reportedly abstained. It was reported that Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond had orchestrated the rebellion, and was one of 36 that abstained or voted against the government.

One Cabinet minister told The Telegraph: “There is incredulity that he hasn’t been sacked and there is a lot of anger directed against all the people who have done this. Whoever succeeds Theresa May is going to have to put the party back together and restore discipline very quickly.”

Speaking to French newspaper Le Monde and German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Mr Hammond doubled-down on his pledge to stop a no-deal Brexit, saying: “I will take steps to avoid an exit without agreement apart from an explicit parliamentary approval.”

Hinting he and his Tory rebels would consider taking down his own government in the “interest of the country”, he said he would do “everything in my power to make sure that Parliament blocks a Brexit without agreement”.

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