Speaking to the press on Thursday evening, Johnson said “What I’ve said to our negotiators is that we’ve got to keep going … And I will go to Brussels, I will go to Paris, I will Berlin, I will go to wherever to try and get this home and get a deal but looking at where we are I do think it’s vital that everyone now gets ready for no deal.”
This really isn’t the situation that the UK wanted. Remainers and pro-EU activists are likely to be aghast at the news but probably not shocked. Hardcore Brexiteers will probably welcome the news but it is slightly embarassing for Boris Johnson who spent most of 2019 claiming that he had an ‘oven ready deal’ that was good to go.
Johnson claimed that a no-deal wasn’t even a possibility. Here is he during the Tory leadership campaign which led to him first becoming the prime minister. At a hustings event in July of that year he was asked if he stood by his claims that the chance of a no-deal Brexit was a million to one to which he replied, “Yes I do, I mean this is not a bookies but I do.”
Boris Johnson(June 2019) - "The chance of a no-deal brexit are a million to one" https://t.co/6vSVG9V6As
Here he is again in September 2019, standing next to the then Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, saying that a "no-deal outcome would be a failure of statecraft."
2019: "No-deal would be a failure of statecraft"
2020: "Please prepare for no-deal"
#NoDeal #Brexit https://t.co/rlKPrd5gHA
— Parody Boris Johnson (@Parody Boris Johnson)
It doesn’t end there either. Here he is speaking to Gareth Owen of ITV News in December 2019 that they ‘have a deal’ but when pressed on the actual trade deal he exclaims that “100 per cent of the issues you need to address in a trade negotiation are already addressed.”
Tonight, Boris Johnson suggests we are heading for "No Deal"
When I asked him about an EU trade deal exactly a yea… https://t.co/jvZDv6ug1c
If you want to go even further back, here he is many years before he was prime minister saying that he would vote to stay in the Single Market. So much for that then…
@GarethITV @MartinRemains @ITV Oh how we laugh now. https://t.co/L4fBWggJwu
— Sebastian de Gange (@Sebastian de Gange)
Credit where credit is due, here is Johnson at last year’s Tory conference saying that a no-deal is “not an outcome that we want, it is not an outcome that we seek at all but let me tell you it is an outcome for which we are ready.”
Oct 2019 #BorisJohnson ready for no deal https://t.co/xsaxBiG0Ep