The reports came amid mounting speculation that the Prime Minister is preparing for a snap election as soon as October. Yesterday, Mr Johnson admitted that the chances of an agreement being reached with the EU for October 31 was “touch and go”, a far cry from his previous claim that the odds stood at “a million to one against”. Mr Jonson’s predictions that Britain could “easily cope” with a no deal Brexit were met with criticism from the EU – accusing him of having no plan to break the deadlock.
Speaking to Sky News at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the Prime Minister said: “This is a great, great country the UK, we can easily cope with a No Deal scenario.
“Frankly I think it’s highly unlikely that there will be food shortages of any kind. There may be bumps on the road but we will get through.”
Mr Johnson held a personal meeting with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, separate to the meeting of world leaders.
During the one to one talks, he argued that a deal or not “depends entirely” on the EU, and confirmed that he plans to withhold a substantial portion of the £39billion Brexit divorce bill should there be no deal.
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He said the money would be made available to spend on priorities within the UK instead.
In preparations for a potential no deal Brexit, it emerged that the Prime Minister had sought the advice of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox over the legal soundness of proroguing Parliament from September 9.
In a leaked email seen by the Observer, the advice from Mr Cox suggests that it “may well be possible” to prorogue Parliament.
A Downing Street source confirmed that ministers are considering a cut in fuel duty in the autumn Budget, a move viewed by many as a pre-election sweetener.
READ MORE: Brexit poll: After G7 row explodes should Boris just walk away?
The source said: “It is time to finally put some money back in the pockets of motorists. It also sends a clear message that the PM is fully behind business in the run-up to Brexit.”
Despite this, in a sign of Cabinet tension, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps indicated he would rather see resources used to encourage motorists to switch to greener, electric vehicles.
Mr Shapps told Sky News that the Budget “has not even been planned yet”, expanding that, “If you want to ask for my long-term view, it’s electric vehicles.”
Contrary to classic pre-election warm up signs, a senior government official denied ministers were working towards an October 17 election.
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