Boris on Brexit: Foreign minister explains policy as Britain prepares to exit the European Union

Caitlin Morrison
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Conservative Leader Theresa May Addresses Party Conference
Boris said there is no need for doom and gloom ahead of Brexit (Source: Getty)

Foreign minister Boris Johnson is in front of the foreign affairs select committee this morning, giving evidence on developments in foreign policy - and he says the Brexit doom-mongers have been proven wrong.

Johnson, who was a leading voice in the Leave campaign, said: "Those who prophesied doom have been proved wrong and will continue to be proved wrong."

He told the committee that he could see no contradiction between "taking back control" of laws, and remaining open to trade and skills from the rest of the world. "We are leaving the EU, not Europe," he added, and noted that the UK has "symmetrical interests" with the rest of the EU member states.

When asked whether he believes Britain should remain in the Single Market, Johnson said he sees the term as "increasingly useless" but that the UK will get a good deal: "You seem to think the single market is like the Groucho Club - we will retain access to goods and services."

He also said that it wouldn't make any economic sense to "punish" the UK for leaving the EU - pointing out that Brits drink champagne, and buy more German cars than any other EU country.

According to Johnson, while the exit negotiations could take longer than two years, the window of time granted by the triggering of Article 50, he doesn't think an extension will be necessary. The former London mayor previously said he didn't think the UK would need the full two-year period to work out a deal.

Johnson's comments come as a court case to decide what legally needs to be done before the UK can start its departure from the EU begins today.

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