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Brexit: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out UK and EU failing to strike trade deal by end of 2020 – live news

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Follow all today’s political developments as they happenBoris Johnson’s BBC Breakfast interview – Summary and analysisJohnson: Huawei critics ‘must tell us what’s the alternative’Johnson says he wants to see county lines drugs gangs ‘totally wound up’ 10.03am GMT That was Boris Johnson’s first interview of 2020, and his first extensive broadcast interview since the general election. It wasn’t one for the history books, it wasn’t over-forensic, and perhaps the main takeaway is that Johnson has just as prone to using bluster, evasion and hyperbole when faced with difficult questions as he was before he went on his New Year holiday. Still, he was not untruthful in the way that he was yesterday, when talking about post-Brexit GB/NI trade in his press conference in Northern Ireland, and he covered quite a lot of ground, giving sometimes interesting answers.Here are the main points.I want to see crime come down. I want to see the county lines drugs gangs wound up, rolled up. They are reducing the quality of life for people across our country, they are killing young kids. I want to see that thing totally wound up.It is one of my least favourite subjects, because we need to move on.I think it’s very likely. I’m not going to give you a percentage.Enormously likely, how about that? Epically likely … Obviously you always have to budget for a complete failure of common sense. That goes without saying. But I am very, very, very confident – three verys there – that we will get [a deal].Well, it’s not for government to step in and save companies that simply run into trouble. But be in no doubt that we see the importance of Flybe in delivering connectivity across the whole United Kingdom. It’s very important, for instance, where I was yesterday in Northern Ireland. I can’t go into commercially confident discussions … We’re working very hard to do what we can. But obviously people will understand that there are limits commercially to what a government can do to rescue any particular firm.But what we will do is ensure that we have the regional connectivity that this country needs, and that is part of our agenda of uniting and levelling up. The British public deserve to have access to the best possible technology. I’ve talked about infrastructure and technology. We want to put in gigabit broadband for everybody. Now if people oppose one brand or another, then they have to tell us what’s the alternative.I happen to have to read it, and I think that after all that awful clamour in the election campaign people are going to be disappointed. But, anyway, it will appear.We will bring forward a plan this year and we will get it done within this parliament. This is a big, big thing. I mean, this is a potentially massive change in the way we fund social care, and we’ve got to get it right.We have got to think very carefully about how we do it because there are lots of quite important moral and social issues contained in it.I think that it’s right that we made the appeal for extradition … I think the chances of America actually responding by sending Anne Sacoolas to this country are very low. That’s not what they do.I was not in this country but I worked very hard, as you can imagine, in making sure there was a European response.I’m glad the Iranians have accepted responsibility and identified it as an appalling mistake and it does appear that it was a mistake.It is very important that the bodies are repatriated in a dignified way and that the families are allowed to grieve and to have closure.If we are going to get rid of it then we need a replacement.The problem with the JCPOA – this is the crucial thing, it’s why there is this tension – the problem with the agreement is that from the American perspective it’s a flawed agreement, it expires, plus it was negotiated by President Obama. From their point of view it has many, many faults.In terms of the submarine, the submarine is crashing through the ice flows … the conning tower is emerging through the ice floes right now. Here I am talking to you. I gave two press conferences yesterday. I want to be as available as I possibly can.But I do believe in cabinet government. I do believe in the strength of our cabinet, they’re a fantastically able bunch of people. I want them to be leading … I want people who who are excited about their work and want to deliver for the people of this country.My view on this is very straightforward: I am a massive fan, like most of our viewers, of the Queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country. I’m absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out. But they are going to sort it out much more easily without a running commentary from politicians.The bongs cost £500,000 but we’re working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong because there are some people who want to.Because Big Ben is being refurbished, they seem to have taken the clapper away, so we need to restore the clapper in order to bong Big Ben on Brexit night. 8.34am GMT There were various news lines in that interview, but perhaps the most surprising line came when Johnson announced that he wanted to end county lines drug dealing. No one will question the merits of his ambition, but he is making a promise that will be very hard to deliver.This is what he said on the topic.I want to see crime come down. I want to see the county lines drugs gangs wound up, rolled up. They are reducing the quality of life for people across our county, they are killing young kids. I want to see that thing totally wound up. Continue reading…

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Author : Andrew Sparrow (now); Ben Quinn (earlier)

Publish date : 2020-01-14 10:47:00

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