Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Boris Johnson warns Theresa May to ditch 'miserable' Brexit plans

Boris Johnson warns Theresa May to ditch 'miserable' Brexit plans

The prime minister secured her cabinet's backing for her Brexit plan at Chequers more than a week ago only to see two cabinet minister - Boris Johnson and David Davis - resign, and several junior ministers go, amid deep disagreements within the Conservatives over how closely the United Kingdom should remain aligned with the European Union after Brexit.

Clarke told waiting journalists that he had put in his letter last Tuesday following the resignations of Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis, but since had had second thoughts.

Earlier this month, on the 9th, rumours spread that Mrs May was about to face a leadership challenge from pro-Brexit Tories as she met in private with the 1922 Committee.

The ex-foreign minister said he was unable to support the Chequers plan and is happy to be speaking out against it.

But her plan, finalised this month at a cabinet meeting at her country house of Chequers, has pleased few on either side, compounding the divisions within the Conservative Party that have so far frustrated progress in talks with the EU.

In her last Commons clash with the Labour leader before parliament breaks for the summer recess, Mrs May had to field a number of questions on Britain's European Union exit, including from two former Brexit ministers.

"We have time in these negotiations".

The legislation change would have committed the United Kingdom to joining a customs union had it not been able to strike a free trade deal with the EU by January 2019.

"Actually no, no we're going onto negotiations with them".

Mr Johnson quit Mrs May's Cabinet on Monday last week, declaring that the plans for the UK's post-Brexit relations with Europe which she set out at Chequers would leave Britain a "colony".

"We have got a mission in government and it is serious".

Johnson, figurehead of the Brexit campaign in the 2016 referendum, led those calls in his resignation speech to parliament.

"A fog of self-doubt has descended", he said.

Johnson, who led the main Brexit campaign in the 2016 referendum, resigned this month over May's strategy, triggering the government's biggest crisis since she lost her parliamentary majority after calling a snap election a year ago.

The close shave was May's third this week as she presents legislation on one of the most important and divisive decisions in modern British history with only a minority government, and a Conservative party at war with itself.

But he says he hopes more like-minded Conservative MPs will find the courage to resist supporters of a so-called "hard brexit" represented by the European Research Group.

Although the government succeeded in rejecting the amendment, Tory Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen said that if the PM had lost the vote it "would have triggered a confidence motion in the government immediately", according to Sky News. "We agreed to hand over a £40 billion exit fee, with no discussion of our future economic relationship".

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