20:23 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Britain's Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson gestures during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019

    Boris Johnson Busted to Be in the Dark About His Brexit Plan Details, Grilled Online

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    The prime minister hopeful discussed the legal basis of his plan to finally steer the UK out of the EU by the 31 October deadline, citing his GATT 24 mantra – Paragraph 5(b) of Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. However, he was caught off-guard when the presenter asked him about the very next point.

    Former Foreign Secretary Boris Jonson, rated to be the favourite of the Conservative leadership race, flunked at the interview-turned-grilling with BBC journalist Andrew Neil, prompting a storm on Twitter. The presenter enquired about Johnson's plan to use the GATT 24 clause in case of a no-deal Brexit by 31 October and carry on trading with the bloc, pending the agreement if there is a “standstill.”

    GATT stands for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, stricken after World War Two and replaced by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the 90s, but used until today.

    Boris Johnson passionately defended an idea to act on Paragraph 5(b) of Article 24 of this agreement despite doubts, voiced by critics, including the Governor of the Bank of England. It allows countries to have an "interim agreement" while they are forming a customs union.

    During the heated exchange, he slammed the journalist for calling the clause Article 5B instead of referring to it as a Paragraph and said: “Get the detail right, Andrew.”

    But when the presenter confronted him on how he would go around the next Paragraph 5(c) of this very Article 24, which demands “a plan and schedule for the formation of such a customs union”, the interview went downhill for Johnson. First, he repeated that he would confide in Paragraph 5(b). When Neil directly asked him if he knew what the 5(c) part suggests, Johnson admitted that he does not.

    Neil further teased him, saying “I thought you were a man of detail” and schooling on its content, demanding that the future shape of the possible union and a timetable should exist.

    However, Johnson refused to back down, criticising “defeatism” and “negativity”.

    “Why can’t we rely on the common sense and goodwill of those parties to get this done?” Johnson asked.

    ​His response did not seem satisfying to online commenters. Grilled in the TV studio, he was roasted online as well.

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    WTO, Brexit plan, BBC, Boris Johnson, UK
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