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m3n4.net November 25, 2017


Boris Johnson denies plan to quit over Brexit differences with PM

21 September 2017, 12:15 | Tara Lloyd

Boris Johnson denies plan to quit over Brexit differences with PM

Ponte Vecchio in Florence

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

Johnson is attending the United Nations general assembly in NY, where he was due to meet May late on Tuesday to discuss the contents of her Florence speech.

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.

Phil Hogan, the EU's agricultural commissioner, also warned that Britain must be less "vague" on the question of the Irish border if negotiations are to go well.

The Foreign Secretary has backed away from his previous insistence that the United Kingdom should cease payments to the European Union after the date of Brexit in 2019, accepting that Britain should "pay our dues" during any transition period, as well as meeting financial demands "where our lawyers say we are on the hook for stuff".

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Theresa May will have the opportunity for an extended discussion with Boris Johnson about his views on Brexit when the pair share a seven-hour flight back to Britain from NY.

This option is known by critics as the "EEA-lite", similar to the arrangements adopted by Switzerland, which would be a way of preserving the benefits of the single market.

Asked by reporters in NY, where is he attending the UN General Assembly, whether he would resign if Mrs May's speech did not endorse his approach, he replied: "No".

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.

"No. of course not, we're going to deliver a fantastic Brexit", he said.

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Commenting on the reports that he was close to walking out of the cabinet, he told the Guardian: "I am mystified by all this stuff".

Asked if she had "got her mojo back", May said: "I'm doing what I always do, which is getting on with the job and, you know what, I think that's what the British people expect their prime minister to do".

But the row only deepened Tuesday when the Daily Telegraph reported that he was considering resigning if May used her speech on Friday to advocate permanent payments to the EU.

Downing Street denied that the prime minister had adjusted her speech to allow for concessions to Johnson to be written in.

Meanwhile pro-EU MP Ken Clarke insisted Mrs May should sack Mr Johnson for challenging her authority.

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