Brexit crunch in focus as election nears

Boris Johnson’s promise to “Get Brexit Done” has proved a powerful election slogan, but the prime minister’s critics claim it masks the fact that if he wins the election Britain faces a tough and potentially humiliating trade negotiation with the EU, write the FT’s George Parker and Jim Brunsden.

Michael Heseltine, former deputy prime minister, called it “the great delusion”, while Ivan Rogers, Britain’s former ambassador to the EU, warned last week of “the crisis that is likely to confront us at the Christmas yet to come — Christmas 2020”.

Mr Johnson and fellow ministers have so far brushed aside any idea that a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU would be anything other than simple. “Most of the work has already been done,” chancellor Sajid Javid claimed.

But by insisting that a deal must be done by December 2020, Mr Johnson has set a highly ambitious — some say impossible — timetable for talks. His critics claim Britain is heading for another economic and political Brexit crisis if he is returned to Downing Street.

/Check out Jim and George’s explainer on the route ahead for Brexit here./

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