Brexit marketing campaign will tell Britons to prepare for no-deal

NEWS 29.07.2019 14:44
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Source: BEN STANSALL / AFP

Boris Johnson, the UK's new Prime Minister, is using his first days in office to send a clear message to a nation that has spent three years stuck in Brexit limbo.

Johnson's government is working on plans to shower the public with information about the prospect of leaving the EU without a deal, an increasingly likely outcome now he is in 10 Downing Street.

Reports in the British media suggested that the publicity blitz — said to include leaflets, billboard, radio and television advertisements — would cost up to £100m ($123m) and will be the largest government-funded advertising campaign since the end of the Second World War.

A government source told CNN there would be a communications campaign, but that no specific funding or methods had yet been decided.

The marketing is part of a broader government initiative to prepare both the public and businesses for the reality of a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Newly-appointed trade minister, Conor Burns, told the BBC's Westminster Hour on Sunday: “It is a very serious possibility and I just wish the previous government, which was not led by Boris, had got on with this a lot earlier.”

The move reflects a hardening in the UK's stance towards Brussels after the departure of the previous Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Dominic Raab, the new foreign secretary (and a former Brexit secretary), told the BBC that the government's new hardline position was the result of “fairly stubborn positions” taken by the EU during the negotiations with May's government.

He added that while Johnson's government wants “a good deal”, sending a clear message that the UK was happy to walk away without an agreement “gives us the best shot of getting a deal.”

Johnson has repeatedly said that despite wanting to secure deal with Europe, he would not accept the deal that May's government negotiated with Brussels, formally known as the Withdrawal Agreement. He has insisted that the EU would have to reopen negotiations with the UK if a deal is to be struck.

The EU, meanwhile, has maintained that the Withdrawal Agreement is the only deal on the table and that there is currently no intention of fresh negotiations with the UK.