‘I’ll free us up from EU rules to protect British jobs,’ pledges Boris Johnson as he tries to woo Labour Leavers
- The PM gave a ‘no ifs, no buts’ promise Britain would leave the EU on January 31
- Mr Johnson pledged to deliver on ‘the change people voted for’ in the 2016 ref
- Prime Minister said future Tory government would tear up EU procurement rules
- This would be to ‘back UK businesses, by ensuring the public sector buys British’
Boris Johnson pledged yesterday to tear up EU rules to protect British jobs as he sought to widen his appeal to Labour Leavers.
The Prime Minister gave a ‘no ifs, no buts’ promise that Britain would leave the EU on January 31 if he secures a majority.
Speaking at a press conference in London alongside fellow former Vote Leave leaders Michael Gove and Labour’s Gisela Stuart, Mr Johnson pledged to deliver on ‘the change people voted for’ in the 2016 referendum.
Unveiling new policies for a post-Brexit world, he said a future Tory government would tear up EU procurement rules in order to ‘back British businesses, by ensuring the public sector buys British’.
Speaking at a press conference in London alongside fellow former Vote Leave leaders Michael Gove and Labour’s Gisela Stuart (pictured), Mr Johnson pledged to deliver on ‘the change people voted for’ in the 2016 referendum
The PM said Brussels rules on ‘state aid’ would also be changed in order to ‘make sure we can intervene when great British businesses are struggling’.
Mr Johnson also confirmed that the Tories would use Brexit to scrap the so-called ‘tampon tax’ – the 5 per cent VAT levy on sanitary products which cannot be removed under EU rules.
Earlier, Mr Johnson reinforced his credentials on tax, by declaring: ‘Read my lips – no new taxes on income or VAT or national insurance.’
He also suggested that the long-running freeze on fuel duty would be extended into the next Parliament, a move that is not in the Tory manifesto and could cost £9billion.
Unveiling new policies for a post-Brexit world, he said a future Tory government would tear up EU procurement rules in order to ‘back British businesses, by ensuring the public sector buys British’
Asked directly about whether he could rule out an increase, he said: ‘I don’t want to raise fuel duty.
‘I have absolutely no intention to raise fuel duty.’ The moves are designed to shore up Tory support among Labour Leavers.
Mr Johnson called on Brexit supporters to remember why they voted Leave, and warned that failure to secure a Tory majority next month would put the project in jeopardy.
‘No Marr unless you face Neil’
The BBC has told Boris Johnson he cannot appear on tomorrow’s Andrew Marr Show unless he signs up to a grilling by Andrew Neil.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was mauled by Neil this week but Mr Johnson has so far not agreed to a similar 30-minute interrogation.
Critics have accused him of ‘ducking’ it. A BBC source said: ‘He won’t be doing Marr until we have confirmed … a date for the Neil interview.’
The BBC has told Boris Johnson he cannot appear on tomorrow’s Andrew Marr Show unless he signs up to a grilling by Andrew Neil (pictured)
A Tory insider said Mr Johnson wanted to appear on Marr ‘to explain his position and answer questions. Yet the BBC is effectively banning him unless he agrees to also do another show – it is absurd’.
He said: ‘We agreed Brexit was a chance to change Britain for the better, so it has been incredibly frustrating for the 17.4 million who voted Leave that change has been delayed, diluted and denied.
‘Now we have the opportunity to make a decisive break with the dither and indecision of the last three and half years – so long as people vote Conservative.
‘If there’s another hung parliament after this election then the deadlock will continue.’
The proposal to change procurement rules – which cover more than £200billion in the public sector – would cut red tape, say the Conservatives.
It would also allow for a scheme which encourages hospitals and councils to set a requirement to ‘promote the local economy’ – a move set to favour UK suppliers.
Looser state aid rules would make it easier for the Government to help ailing industries.
A source said a Conservative government would ‘make it faster and easier for the Government to intervene to protect jobs when an industry is in trouble’.
They cited the example of the attempt to help the British steel industry in 2015 when a two-month delay in Brussels signing off a law change to give steel makers an exemption from green levies cost the sector £40million in government support.
The move to change state aid rules is likely to complicate the free-trade deal Mr Johnson hopes to strike with Brussels.
He said he was confident that he could complete the deal by the end of next year, but revealed No Deal planning will continue.