Mr Johnson has already taken a hard line with the bloc only a few days after the UK officially entered its transition period and began its withdrawal from the EU. In a speech today, the Prime Minister indicated that he would like a deal akin to that with Canada’s relationship with the EU, but is willing to take one similar to Australia’s. Effectively this would be a deal on World Trade Organisation terms.
He has also repeatedly announced his intention for the Withdrawal Agreement to come to an end by December 21, 2020, which is perceived by many as quite tight deadline to complete a complex trade deal with the bloc.
An unearthed clip from the BBC’s Great Debate, two days before the EU referendum in 2016, revealed how Mr Johnson hopes to beat even Leave Campaign’s expectations for a post-Brexit trade deal.
The then-energy minister Angela Leadsom spoke on the Leave Panel during the televised debate and said: “We are the world’s fifth biggest economy.
“Most economies can agree free trade deals within two years.
“The EU is taking ten years or never at all!
Ursula von der Leyen and Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)
Angela Leadsom speaking in 2016 about leaving the EU (Image: BBC)
“Why? Because 27 member states can not even organise a takeaway curry let alone what they are going to do on free trade with the rest of the world.”
She has since become the Business Secretary under Mr Johnson.
Ursula von der Leyen, the newly elected President of the European Commission, met with the Prime Minister earlier this year and made it clear she thought his timeline is unrealistic for a comprehensive agreement.
Many others within the EU believe that Mr Johnson needs to extend the timeframe for trade discussions too.
Ireland’s deputy PM Simon Coveney said the EU “will not be rushed”, dubbing the timeframe “ambitious if not unrealistic”.
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Johnson will focus on post-Brexit trade deal discussions with the EU over the next year (Image: Getty)