LIZ TRUSS has accused the EU of bluffing when it warns there will be no implementation period without Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.
The chief secretary to the Treasury, who is backing Boris Johnson, was challenged over his promise to negotiate a free trade agreement during the months after Brexit on October 31.
Asked about the EU’s insistence the agreement is passed first, Ms Truss told Radio 5 Pienaar’s Politics: ‘They would say that, wouldn’t they. I mean, they are not going to immediately give concessions now while we’re in the middle of a Conservative leadership election and it wouldn’t be in their interest to do that.
‘Boris’s strategy is to make sure we are ready for no-deal and then we go to the EU seeking a better deal.’
But international trade secretary Liam Fox, a leading Brexiteer, warned: ‘If we leave the EU without a deal, the EU will apply tariffs to the UK.’
Justice secretary David Gauke also challenged Mr Johnson, tweeting: ‘No withdrawal agreement means no implementation period.’