BORIS Johnson has said he’d rather remain in the EU then skulk out with Theresa May’s Chequer’s plan.

The former Foreign Secretary, who, despite controversy over his love life, and over comments comparing the Tory leader’s Brexit plan to a suicide bomber’s vest, is still the favourite to be the next Prime Minister.

Yesterday, in one of his first public appearances since the end of his marriage amid news of a burgeoning relationship with a former Tory aide, Johnson was in the Commons for the launch of a report by Economists For Free Trade.

The authors said the UK had “nothing to fear” from the “clean break” of a hard Brexit.

This could give an £80 billion boost to the tax base and cut prices by 8% by eliminating tarrifs on EU imports, they claimed.

The past 25 years have seen the UK outperformed by countries who deal with the EU on WTO rules.

They argued that over the same time period British exports to the rest of the world had grown more than three times faster than British exports to the EU.

“We have nothing to fear from trading on WTO terms,” the report said.

Johnson said May’s Chequers plan would mean “abandoning our seat around the table in Brussels and continuing to accept the single market legislation”.

He added: “That seems to me to be a particular economic risk in Chequers and makes it substantially worse than the status quo.”

Fellow Brexiteers David Davis, Iain Duncan Smith, and Jacob Rees-Mogg were all in attendance at the launch.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna said a no deal Brexit would be a disaster.

“The reality is that, before we have even left, Brexit is forcing up prices in the shops, destabilising our economy and stripping our health service of the doctors and nurses that it so badly needs.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s biggest car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, has said “tens of thousands” of jobs in the car industry could be lost if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal.

In what was a major embarrassment for the Prime Minister, Ralf Speth, the company’s chief executive, said delays at the border could put production in jeopardy at a cost of £60 million a day.

He said that it was cheaper to make cars in Slovakia than it currently was in Britain. He added: “What decisions will we be forced to make, if Brexit means not merely that costs go up, but that we cannot physically build cars on time and on budget in the UK?”

He warned: “Six months from Brexit and uncertainty means that many companies are being forced to make decisions about their businesses that will not be reversed, whatever the outcome, just to survive.”

Under current estimates a hard Brexit would cost the company £1.2bn a year.