Buy British! Boris Johnson vows to make the public sector put homegrown firms first as he says No Deal Brexit planning will continue – and rules out a post-election fuel duty increase for hard-pressed motorists

  • Also revealed new state aid rules to help prop up ailing firms if he wins election 
  • Despite it not being in the Tory manifesto he ruled out a fuel duty increase
  • Mr Johnson believes that he could get a new EU free trade by the end of 2020 
  • But he vowed to keep No Deal Brexit preparations in ‘a state of readiness’

Boris Johnson vowed to introduce a ‘buy British’ rule for public sector bodies today to stimulate the economy – as he insisted No Deal Brexit planning will continue.

The Prime Minister also revealed that he will introduce new state aid rules to help prop up ailing firms, with a blast at EU rules which prevent governments from intervening.

And he confirmed that despite it not being in the Tory election manifesto he would not increase fuel duty if he wins on December 12, which would help hard-pressed motorists. 

Flanked by fellow Vote Leave figures Michael Gove and ex-Labour MP Gisela Stuart at a central London press conference, Mr Johnson said: ‘Today we are setting out specific ways in which we will change EU law so we can enjoy the benefits of Brexit without delay.

‘We’ll back British businesses, by ensuring the public sector buys British …  and we’ll back British industry, by making sure we can intervene when great British businesses are struggling.’

The PM was Flanked by fellow Vote Leave figures Michael Gove and ex-Labour MP Gisela Stuart at a central London press conference

The Prime Minister also revealed that he will introduce new state aid rules to help prop up ailing firms, with a blast at EU rules which prevent governments from intervening

The Tories want to make changes to public procurement to boost local and small  businesses. 

They argue that UK rules currently make this difficult and the UK can diverge after Brexit.

If re-elected they seek to introduce new rules in 2020.

Facing questions from reporters Mr Johnson said he believes that he could get a new free trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020 but that he would not stop No Deal preparations.

He said they had been useful, adding: ‘It convinced the EU that we were in earnest about leaving, and many of those preparations will be extremely important as we come out of EU arrangements anyway.

They are the right thing to have done and keep in a state of readiness. But by the end of 2020, I’m also confident we will have a great new FTA ready to go.’

Mr Johnson also took aim at state aid rules – also a major beef for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour – saying they were too restrictive.

The PM said he thought Britain could be ‘more flexible and pragmatic’ once free from European Union state aid rules – but said there would still be a ‘level playing field’ after Brexit.

‘I’m not in favour of distorting competition, I don’t want to see unfair practices introduced, I want to see a level playing field.

‘But when I look sometimes at what EU rules have meant for UK companies, and I saw examples the other day up in Teesside of how fantastic British business was finding it very difficult to develop our potential in wind turbine technology because of EU rules.

‘There will be ways in which we can do things differently and better.’

He said the ‘ramifications of state aid rules were felt everywhere’, including in schools, local government and bus service.

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