Johnson, referring to how Britain would fare without a trade deal with the EU, told Andrew Marr: “I think we can prosper mightily under those circumstances.”
A leaked government document outlining a ‘Preliminary set of Reasonable Worst Case Scenario Planning Assumptions to support civil contingencies planning for the end of the Transition Period,’ raised the prospect of local authority bankruptcies, shortages and price hikes, threats to food and fuel supplies as well as the use of the Royal Navy to stop vigilante British fishers clashing with European fishing boats. It was dated July 2020, three months before Johnson’s statement on the Andrew Marr Show.
Johnson’s belief that Britain could ‘prosper mightily’ without a trade deal may or may not have been genuine. It was not realistic and Johnson should have known that, since documents produced by his own government bleakly contradicted his balmy optimism about the consequences of failure to strike a deal. There was negligible evidence to support Johnson’s statement, and a weight of evidence to the contrary.