Boris Johnson will 'go the extra 1,000 miles' to secure a Brexit deal from the EU

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt

The prime minister has promised to go the "extra thousand miles" in Brexit negotiations with the EU but insisted he will "make it absolutely clear that the backstop is no good".

Speaking during a visit to a Scottish naval base, Boris Johnson added: "The Withdrawal Agreement is dead, it's got to go, but there is scope to do a new deal."

Despite claiming a new deal can be achieved while touring the Home Nations, back in Westminster Mr Johnson's new Brexit war cabinet - as its being called - is ramping up preparations for no deal.

It's been reported around a £1 billion extra will be now be spent on planning for no deal, despite Mr Johnson saying during the Tory leadership campaign trail that the odds of crashing out the EU without a deal were "one million to one".

But in Scotland he insisted no-deal was not the country's default position and that a new agreement could be struck if there was "goodwill and common sense" on both sides.

Speaking during a visit to the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, Prime Minister Johnson said he will also be having discussions with Ireland about “what the limits are”.

Boris Johnson, on a visit to Faslane naval base in Scotland, is calling for good will on all sides. Credit: PA

While "there's no change in their position" the feeling was "very, very positive", he said.

He told journalists: "The backstop is no good. It's dead. It has got to go. The withdrawal agreement is dead, it's got to go. But there is scope to do a new deal."

He added: "We are talking to the Irish today what the limits are, what we want to do, and we are very confident that with good will on both sides, two mature political entities, the UK and the EU, can get this thing done."

As he arrived at a meeting with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Johnson was booed by crowds of people waiting outside.

The prime minister seemed undeterred, shaking hands with Sturgeon who had earlier warned his "hard-line" Government is driving the country towards "disaster" by pushing for a no-deal Brexit.

Following the meeting, Nicola Sturgeon said she made it "abundantly clear" she was opposed to Brexit and reaffirmed her belief Scotland should choose its own course following a second independence referendum.

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson - who clashed with Mr Johnson when she campaigned for Remain in 2016 - had already made plain she cannot accept a no-deal Brexit.

Following her meeting with Mr Johnson at Holyrood on Monday, she said: "We had an incredibly constructive meeting.

"We covered a number of areas, talking about Brexit, the need to make sure we can get a deal across the line, and I support the Prime Minister wholeheartedly in getting that deal.

"We talked about how we can continue to have the UK Government deliver in Scotland, for Scots, and how we can build on that delivery, and also how we can continue to take on Nicola Sturgeon and oppose her obsession with another independence referendum."

Speaking from Faslane naval base in Scotland, Boris Johnson has said the Withdrawal Agreement is dead. Credit: PA

Mr Johnson's remarks came as two of his senior ministers said in the past 24 hours that a no-deal exit from the EU is likely.

Michael Gove, who is in charge of no-deal preparations in the Cabinet Office, said the Government is “operating on the assumption” that Britain will leave the EU without a deal on October 31 in a column for the Sunday Times.

On Monday, new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the "balance has shifted" towards a no-deal Brexit, but insisted "there's a deal to be done if the EU shows the flexibility we've shown".

He told ITV News: "If the EU continue to stick to their position that there cannot be any change to the Withdrawal Agreement then I think the balance has shifted, we will end up leaving on WTO terms."

Mr Johnson announced £300million of extra funding for communities in devolved nations in a bid to renew "the ties that bind our United Kingdom".

Asked whether the assumption is that there will be no deal with the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "No, absolutely not. My assumption is that we can get a deal, we are aiming for a deal."

He said, however, it is still right to prepare for a no-deal scenario.Speaking on Sky News, Mr Johnson said he doesn't want the UK to "be aloof or hanging back" and said he wants to "engage, to hold out the hand".

One of the new PM's first moves was to set up what is being branded as a Brexit war Cabinet, putting place preparations for Britain's exit from the EU in a way not seen since the Second World War.

Part of the preparations will be as multi-million pound advertising campaign to advise Britons about the country leaving the European Union without a deal.