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‘Full British Brexit’ row as thousands take to streets, two years on from vote

The head of Seimens UK criticised Boris Johnson, saying hardline rhetoric was ‘unhelpful’ and calling for a ‘pragmatic’ soft Brexit.

A general view of Manchester Town Hall, the setting for the national count in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, before the counting of votes. Pic: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A general view of Manchester Town Hall, the setting for the national count in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, before the counting of votes. Pic: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Polling station on Connsbrooke Avenue in east Belfast, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Ulster. Photo credit should read: David Young/PA Wire
Chelsea pensioners at a polling station near to the Royal Chelsea Hospital, London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Boris Johnson and his wife Marina arrive to cast their votes at Hanover Primary School in north London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
Jenny Watson, the Chief Counting Officer for the EU Referendum, announces that polling has closed and the national count has commenced at Manchester Town Hall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A ballot box is carried into the Royal Horticultural Halls in London as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
A counter waits for ballot boxes to arrive at the Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls, London, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Tellers wait for ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Counters empty ballot box at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre as SDLP's Alban Maginness and Clare Hanna discuss progress
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan 23rd June 2016 Former Justice Minister David Forde
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan 23rd June 2016 Christopher Stalford chats with Dianne Dodds
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre and Nigel Dodds chats with colleagues
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre and Alastair Mc Donnell keep a close with on proceedings
A counter tallies ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Counters tally ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Bundles of ballot papers at the counting centre in Manchester Central after Thursday's EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
How the vote stands at 5:30am. See story POLITICS EU.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage speaking in London where he appeared to claim victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Leave supporters at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Remain supporters at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Supporters of leaving the EU celebrate at a party hosted by Leave.EU in central London as they watch results come in from around the country after Thursday's EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Supporters of the Stronger In campaign react after hearing results in the EU referendum at London's Royal Festival Hall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Rob Stothard/PA Wire
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 24: People read special edition of the Sankei newspaper reporting the results of the UK vote on June 24, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. The result from the historic EU referendum has now been declared and the United Kingdom has voted to LEAVE the European Union. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 24: Pedestrians walk past an electronic stock board displaying the exchange rate of the yen against the US dollar outside a securities firm on June 24, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Process of the vote counting is underway and the majority of British people have voted to leave the European Union (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 24: A man watches an electronic board displaying price of the Nikkei stock average outside of a securities firm on June 24, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Process of the vote counting is underway and the majority of British people have voted to leave the European Union (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
TV OUT. ALL BROADCAST WEBSITES OUT. No cropping permitted. Picture must be credited to Sky News. We are advised that videograbs should not be used more than 48 hours after the time of original transmission, without the consent of the copyright holder. Video grab taken from Sky News of Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who said "some market and economic volatility can be expected" in the wake of the Brexit vote, adding that the Bank was well prepared. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Bank. Photo credit should read: Sky News/PA Wire
Exchange rates displayed at a currency exchange in London after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
File photo dated 28/03/10 of British Airways aircraft at Heathrow Airport, as its owner, IAG, has issued a profit warning following the UK's decision to leave the EU. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2016. The company's share price tanked 19% to 425.6p in trading on Friday morning. See PA story POLITICS EU IAG. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
How the pound has fallen. See story POLITICS EU
A statue of Winston Churchill is silhouetted by Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 24, 2016. Britain has voted to break out of the European Union, striking a thunderous blow against the bloc and spreading panic through world markets Friday as sterling collapsed to a 31-year low. / AFP / Niklas HALLE'N
A police officer enters the door of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister, as UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Journalists outside 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister, as UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Members of the press photograph Prime Minister David Cameron as he speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
ALTERNATE CROP Prime Minister David Cameron walks out of 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside Downing Street on June 24, 2016 in London, England. The results from the historic EU referendum has now been declared and the United Kingdom has voted to LEAVE the European Union. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Samantha Cameron watches her husband David announce his resignation as Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street, London, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron walks into 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha after he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Police break up a crowd blocking Boris Johnson's car from leaving his street in north London, after David Cameron announced he will quit as Prime Minister by October following a humiliating defeat in the referendum which ended with a vote for Britain to leave the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Ryan Wilkinson/PA Wire
Former London Mayor, and "Vote Leave" campaigner Boris Johnson leaves his home in London on June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU). Britain voted to break away from the European Union on June 24, toppling Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing a thunderous blow to the 60-year-old bloc that sent world markets plunging. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, walks towards the Houses of Parliament on June 24, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. The result from the historic EU referendum has now been declared and the United Kingdom has voted to LEAVE the European Union. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Ukip leader Nigel Farage greets his supporters on College Green in Westminster, London, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove (right) hold a press conference at Brexit HQ in Westminster, London, after David Cameron has announced he will quit as Prime Minister by October following a humiliating defeat in the referendum which ended with a vote for Britain to leave the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trumpwaves with his daughter Ivanka Trump on June 24, 2016 in Ayr, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, with his daughter Ivanka and son Eric (left) at his revamped Trump Turnberry golf course in South Ayrshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. Trump will cut the ribbon at the resort he purchased two years ago which has undergone a £200 million refurbishment. See PA story POLITICS Trump. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
TV OUT. ALL BROADCAST WEBSITES OUT. No cropping permitted. Picture must be credited to Sky News. We are advised that videograbs should not be used more than 48 hours after the time of original transmission, without the consent of the copyright holder. Video grab taken from Sky News of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a press conference at Bute House in Edinburgh, where she confirmed that the Scottish Government will draw up legislation to allow a second independence referendum to be held. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Scotland. Photo credit should read: Sky News/PA Wire
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 First Minister Arlene Foster is pictured on a phone call at 11.20am today speaking with Prime Minister David Cameron in her office at Stormont Castle, Belfast this morning after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Photo by Press Eye
Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 24-6-2016 Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster speaking at Stormont Castle this afternoon on the Brexit vote in the European Union Referendum on membership of the EU.
Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks during a press conference in Dublin, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 24-6-2016 Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein Ministers speaking at Stormont Castle this afternoon on the Brexit vote in the European Union Referendum on membership of the EU.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 24/06/2016 Democratic imperative for border poll Adams Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking at Stormont Castle today along with First Minister Martin McGuinness and other Executive Ministers said: There is an onus on the British government to respect the democratic wishes of the people of the north.   The Taoiseach has to think nationally in a real sense. The Irish government needs an all-island, all-Ireland view. The referendum result will have very profound effects for all of us on this island. There are real worries it will have an adverse impact on the two economies on this island. This will have serious consequences for jobs and investment and for families and communities.
UK London 24 June 2016 -- A group of young school students from Oxford protest opposite the Parliament against the fact that as 16 and 17 years old they weren't allowed to vote in the referendum. The posters read 'Where was my vote' and 'Please Sir can we have a voice? Let 16/17 yr olds vote' The day after the EU Referendum in which the majority of Britain decided to leave the EU, sees Leave and Stay supporters out in the streets of London -- Picture by Michael Debets/Atlas Photo Archive

Boris Johnson has urged the Prime Minister to deliver a “full British Brexit” as Cabinet colleagues warned the UK is able to walk away without a deal.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the UK was not “bluffing” about being prepared to walk away from talks with Brussels, and Brexit Secretary David Davis said there is “lots going on” to prepare in case negotiations collapse.

Read more: Smoke bombs and riot police deployed during Brexit march

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson said people would not tolerate a “bog roll Brexit” that was “soft, yielding and seemingly infinitely long”.

Their remarks were published on Saturday, the second anniversary of 2016’s EU referendum. Thousands of pro-EU marchers have begun a walk from Pall Mall to Parliament to demand a referendum on the terms of Brexit two years on from the vote.

The ministers’ comments prompted criticism from Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier, who said they were “incredibly unhelpful” and said it was time to work for a more pragmatic deal with the EU.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today that the firm wanted a soft Brexit with “minimum friction”, saying the Government had presided over “two years of not having achieved what we were promised, which is that this was all going to be easy”.

He said: “I think the realities are setting in and I think it is time to get away from slogans, ‘full British Brexit’, ‘going into combat with Europe’.

“It’s all incredibly unhelpful and what we need to do now is to get closer with our European partners and work out what a realistic, pragmatic Brexit is that works for both sides, the EU and ourselves.”

Meanwhile, research by the Centre for European Reform (CER) think tank indicated Brexit had already made the UK economy 2.1% weaker than it would have been if voters had decided to stay in the EU.

Dr Fox told the BBC it is “essential” the EU “understands… and believes” the Prime Minister’s assertion that no deal would be better than a bad deal.

He said the threat had “added credibility because if we were to leave, the economic impact on a number of European countries would be severe”.

“I think our negotiating partners would not be wise if they believed that the Prime Minister was bluffing,” he said.

Speaking to the Daily Express, Mr Davis said that Britain was “able to leave without a deal”.

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Crowds gather on Pall Mall in central London (John Stillwell/PA)

“We don’t want to do that, never have. The best option is leaving with a good deal but you’ve got to be able to walk away from the table,” he said.

Rejecting claims the Government has failed to make adequate preparations for a no-deal Brexit, he told the paper: “There’s lots going on, we haven’t made it public for very simple reasons.

“This is a careful process, it is not designed to scare the horses to worry people, it is designed to get the work done.”

The Brexit Secretary cited planning on migration matters and health standards, as well as treatment available to Britons in Europe.

“Work is going on all these things for both the negotiated outcome and if something goes wrong,” Mr Davis said.

Their comments in interviews to mark two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union were made before Airbus warned it could be forced to pull out of the UK if there was a “no deal” Brexit.

Katherine Bennett, Airbus’s senior vice president in the UK, told the Press Association: “We don’t deal in idle threats. We seriously believe a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic.”

Writing in the Sun, Mr Johnson said the public were keen to get on with breaking away from Brussels.

“Across the country I find people who – whatever they voted two years ago – just want us to get on and do it,” he said.

“They don’t want a half-hearted Brexit. They don’t want some sort of hopeless compromise, some perpetual pushme-pullyou arrangement in which we stay half-in and half-out in a political no man’s land – with no more ministers round the table in Brussels and yet forced to obey EU laws.

“They don’t want some bog roll Brexit, soft, yielding and seemingly infinitely long.

“They want this Government to fulfil the mandate of the people and deliver a full British Brexit.”

But organisers of the People’s Vote march expect tens of thousands of people to show their support for a referendum on the final Brexit outcome.

Marchers will descend on Parliament Square, where speakers will include Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Tory former minister Anna Soubry, Labour’s David Lammy and Green co-leader Caroline Lucas.

Sir Vince is expected to say Brexit is not a “done deal” or inevitable and can be stopped.

“Parliament is fiddling at the margins while the country slowly burns,” he is expected to warn as he calls on the Government to vote on the deal, or no deal, with the option of staying in the EU.

The CER estimate of a 2.1% smaller economy than if the UK had voted to remain in the EU is equivalent to a knock-on hit of £23 billion a year to the public finances, some £440 million a week.

CER deputy director John Springford said: “Two years on from the referendum, we now know that the Brexit vote has seriously damaged the economy.”

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