In what amounts to a take it or leave it offer from the Prime Minister, he will demand that the EU stops its foot dragging in negotiations and works out a deal consistent to the ones it has with other countries which will not tie Britain into its laws and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice or force the UK to surrender its fishing waters. The blunt message will be delivered at a video conference with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von Der Leyen, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
It comes as new research by the Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP) has revealed that the Conservatives would lose all the Red Wall seats they gained from Labour in December if they go soft on Brexit.
Mr Johnson’s robust approach follows a major diplomatic victory on Friday when the EU caved in to Britain’s demands to intensify the talks over July and accept that there will not be an extension to the transition period.
A UK Government official said: “The EU was a little slow to agree to an intensified timetable for talks, and has been making noises about so-called tunnels. That’s not something we ever wanted and it’s welcome that they’ve now signed up to a sensible process to take the talks forward.
“The high level meeting was always envisaged as a moment to push the negotiations forward. We now need to get this resolved and deliver certainty for businesses at home and in the EU as soon as possible.
“There’s a high quality FTA to be done, based on the agreements the EU has already reached with other countries. But, whatever happens, we will be ready for January 1, when we will be back in control of our laws, borders and money.”
Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and David Frost, the UK’s Chief Negotiator, will also take part in the discussions tomorrow.
A source has confirmed that Mr Johnson will make it clear tomorrow that the negotiation now needs to be “swiftly concluded, with certainty provided to the public and businesses by the Autumn at the latest.”
Meanwhile, polling by the CBP has confirmed that if the government goes soft on Brexit it could lose dozens of newly won seats in the north of England, midlands and Wales.
The thinktank conducted polling ahead of the official announcement that transition would not be extended on what constituents’ attitudes would be to an extension.
Tory Brexiteer MPs have privately warned that while officially there can be no extension now, there will be no certainty it will not happen until Britain has fully left the EU on January 1.
One said: “The last three years have taught us not to take anything for granted even when ministers say something will happen. We all remember ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ from Theresa May. That said we trust Boris [Johnson] more to deliver.”
Polling in 34 Red Wall seats for the CBP by ComRes Savanta showed that 51 percent to 42 percent, a clear majority of the public in these battleground seats believe that the Covid-19 crisis should not be used as a pretext for delaying Brexit once the transition period for finalising the terms of departure closes on December 31 this year.
The insistence on no delay is even stronger among “Switchers”, who voted Labour in 2017 but switched to the Conservatives in 2019, largely because they rallied to Mr Johnson’s battle cry of “Get Brexit Done”.
By 56 percent to 43 percent, this pivotal electoral group want Brexit on time or even sooner, a figure that leaps to a 73 percent to 23 percent majority among “Consistents”, people who voted Conservative in Red Wall seats in 2017 and 2019.
The report highlights recent previous research putting the cost of a two-year extension at £380 billion, which could easily lead to no Brexit at a cost to the country of a staggering £4.5 trillion.
The survey uncovers a remarkable degree of trepidation about the practical impact of the UK government deferring Brexit with 50 percent believing the cost of living would worsen compared to 15 percent who thought it would improve.
The poll found 48 percent thought that the price of food would go up, 45 percent thought the level of taxes would increase, 40 percent thought that the price of non-food consumer goods would go up, and 39 percent thought the amount of jobs available would decrease.
Labour MP Graham Stringer, a former minister and a director of the CBP, said: “The main proponents of extending the transition period are the same people who ran the failed Remain campaign in 2016 and the failed second referendum campaign.
“They have absolutely no interest in extending the transition period by one or two years. They have weaponised the Coronavirus crisis to try to reverse Brexit.”