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Bojo’s Brexit plan will not work, Dutch PM Mark Rutte warns

Bojo’s Brexit plan will not work, Dutch PM Mark Rutte warns
Dutch PM Mark Rutte has poured cold water on Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposal, insisting that there can be no transition period without a full withdrawal agreement. He warned a ‘no-deal’ would be “chaos.”

Johnson, the former foreign secretary who is the favorite to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister, has suggested taking the “good bits” from the existing withdrawal agreement and securing alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop during a transition period.

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In an interview with the BBC, Rutte explained why he is unconvinced Johnson’s plan would work, insisting that “Hard Brexit is hard Brexit. I don’t see how you can sweeten it.”

On the prospect of a no-deal, Rutte said: “It will be chaos… I hate Brexit from every angle. With a hard Brexit, even with a normal Brexit, the UK… will be a diminished country. It is unavoidable.”

Rutte also talked down the possibility of a Brexit extension past the agreed October 31 date, an idea pitched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Under Johnson’s Brexit plans, the end of the transition period would be delayed until December 2021 – a year longer than what was agreed with May’s deal.

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