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Therese Raphael

Boris Johnson Wants the Hardest of EU Trade Deals

The U.K. can either have a quick trade deal with the EU or it can have one that cuts some of the costs of Brexit. It can’t have both.

Why the rush?

Why the rush?

Photographer: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe

British voters are being hit over the head with the key message of Boris Johnson’s campaign for the Dec. 12 election: In speeches and on posters and on campaign flyers is the promise that his government would “get Brexit done” quickly and move on to other things.

The Conservative Party is in a hurry. Johnson’s team is promising that Brexit will happen so fast that he won’t need the full time available to negotiate a trade deal with the European Union. Britain could if it wanted push this process out to 2022, but Trade Secretary Liz Truss tweeted this week that “we will not be extending the Brexit transition period beyond 2020. The British people have waited long enough.” On Tuesday, her cabinet colleague Michael Gove promised the U.K. would have a trade deal by the end of next year.