Brexit: Boris Johnson could resign if Theresa May opts for 'soft Brexit'

Lucy Bush
September 21, 2017

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

Publically Johnson has supported it but "privately he has told friends that a so-called "EEA minus" version of Brexit is something he "could not live with", according to the report.

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

Julia pointed out that Johnson wrote a lengthy and hugely influential article about Brexit without the Prime Minister's consent, but Kwarteng insisted the differences between ministers are only minor.

BORIS Johnson could resign and potentially spark a Tory leadership race if Theresa May opts to pursue a "Swiss-style" soft Brexit, it emerged yesterday.

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Mr Johnson and Mrs May are both in NY, but no formal meeting between the two is planned.

The foreign secretary - who appears to have the backing of other pro-leave ministers, including Michael Gove - was unhappy about some of the wording in early drafts of the speech.

He told the Financial Times: "From my personal point of view, I think he should have kept his mouth shut, quite simply".

The PM's spokesman said that Mrs May had met Ivanka at the G20 summit in Germany in July, when Ms Trump expressed an interest in giving her backing to the campaign against modern slavery which the Prime Minister has spearheaded.

In a sign of the growing frenzy around his intentions, the Foreign Secretary was cornered by TV cameras as he entered a lift in his NY hotel on returning from a jog, and forced to deny he was planning to resign.

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The Foreign Secretary is understood to accept the idea of the United Kingdom paying its dues to Brussels during a transition period - but not for continued payments for access to the European single market on a permanent basis.

She also confirmed that Downing Street had not given Mr Johnson's magnum-opus the go-ahead.

The prime minister attempted to stamp her authority on her foreign secretary by telling reporters "this government is driven from the front".

The Government has said the time of big sums of cash going to the European Union ends with Brexit, but has acknowledged in principle that it will make a payment.

"No", Mr Johnson responded, before cheerily describing the Cabinet as a "nest of singing birds". "And he knows perfectly well that, normally, a foreign secretary would be sacked instantly for doing that".

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