Out and into the world: Johnson hails Britain to flourish as a global nation once again

BORIS Johnson tonight declared that Britain was ready to flourish once more as a global nation outside the European Union.

He also delighted Tory colleagues by hinting at Government backing for their campaign for a new and privately funded Royal Yacht Britannia to help boost Britain’s world influence.He was the first Foreign Secretary in more than 10 years to open a Commons session about the Budget

Chancellor Philip Hammond reportedly asked for his colleague’s help to quell Tory fury at last week’s Budget plan to raise National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed.

Mr Johnson did not mention NICs but repeatedly praised the Budget as one that would support Britain’s continuing economic success.

Boris JohnsonGETTY    Mr Johnson declared that Britain was ready to flourish once more as a global nation

Boris Johnson

Speaking minutes after MPs backed the Government in passing the Bill to trigger formal exit talks with the EU, Brexit campaigner Mr Johnson told MPs it was a “pivotal and exciting moment in our international economic relations not just with the EU but with the 93 per cent of the world that doesn’t live in the EU – shortly to be 94 per cent.”This Budget will help us fulfil our entire potential for a truly global Britain.”

He added: “Once we leave the EU we will all regain the power this country has not been able to deploy for 44 years: the ability to conclude free trade agreements.

Royal Yacht Britannia REX    He also hinted at Government backing for a new privately funded Royal Yacht Britannia

“The first and most important of these deals will be with our friends and partners in the EU.”To those who seriously doubt we can pull it off in the next two years … I say this is profoundly in the interests of our friends on the other side of the Channel. They are optimistic, they are determined – and sometimes I wish we could have a little bit of the same spirit from Labour.”

He quipped that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could “liberate the haggis” which has been banned in America since 1971 because it contains sheep lungs.

On the day Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon threatened another independence referendum, he also stressed Scottish whisky makers could gain vast new sales once Britain did a free trade deal with India which currently slaps a 150 per cent tariff on imported Scotch despite the country’s “colossal thirst” for whisky.

He was pressed by fellow Tory MP Jake Berry to back proposals for a new Royal Yacht to replace the Queen’s beloved ship that was retired in 1997,  on grounds a revival could boost Britain’s trade prospects.

Mr Johnson replied; “It would indeed add greatly to the soft power of this country – always provided that the new Britannia should not be a call on the taxpayer. If it can be done privately I’m sure it would attract overwhelming support.”It is one of a number of measures that I am sure that this Government will be able to consider.”

Government sources later stressed Mr Johnson’s comments on the Royal Yacht were not a statement that the government would throw its weight behind the project.

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