Foreign Secretary to resign if May goes soft on Brexit

Michele Moreno
September 21, 2017

Mr Johnson's Telegraph article on Saturday has overshadowed Mrs May's three-day visit to the USA and Canada in the run-up to her crucial Brexit speech in Florence on Friday.

On Friday night he published his vision for a "glorious" Brexit in which he said the United Kingdom should not pay any money to Brussels in order to access the single market after a transition period.

"We are a nest of singing birds", Johnson told reporters in NY, denying that the cabinet was split over the Brexit policy.

She is due to inform her ministers on its contents at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The lack of clarity was reinforced when May's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, laid out his own vision for Brexit in a newspaper article widely viewed as an attempt to force his premier's hand.

May's spokesman also underlined the fact that May planned on using the speech to discuss transitional arrangements and also Britain's ongoing partnership with the rest of the EU.

According to the Financial Times, Theresa May will include the offer in her much-anticipated Brexit speech on Friday in Florence.

The announcement of the meeting comes as the Foreign Secretary denied reports that he about to resign, telling reporters in New York: "Of course not".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned last week that Britain would regret its decision to leave the EU, saying that the bloc would "move on" after the UK's departure.

In a late change of travel arrangements, the Foreign Secretary was due to join the Prime Minister on her RAF Voyager journey back from NY following their visit to the UN General Assembly.

He added that the "signs will not be good" for future European Union relations if Theresa May is as "vague" as Mr Johnson on key questions such as the Irish border during future negotiations.

But Johnson has staunchly denied the claims, telling reporters in NY that the cabinet is "a nest of singing birds".

But even those who back his ideas think he should have let the PM deliver her major Brexit speech on Friday before putting forward an alternative position.

In the wake of Boris Johnson's article, "the approach of senior ministers to the Brexit negotiations appears to lack co-ordination", pointed out Lord Hague.

Asked if there was a Cabinet split on Europe, Mr Johnson said: "No, we are a Government working together".

The former chancellor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "in any normal circumstances" Mr Johnson would have been "sacked the day after" his article.

"And he knows perfectly well that, normally, a foreign secretary would be sacked instantly for doing that".

Other reports by Insurance News

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