Johnson slams May's Brexit plan in speech to Parliament

Johnson slams May's Brexit plan in speech to Parliament

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Timothy said that if Britain leaves the European Union in "chaos" or does not leave the bloc at all, "a national humiliation greater than Suez awaits". Pro-EU politicians complain that it would still leave Britain facing complicated customs procedures, and outside the free market for services that make up most of its economy.

The headlines today focus on his call for May to return to her Lancaster House Brexit offering - yet as I never tire of pointing out, that speech took place well before the disastrous general election of 2017.

Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary last week in protest against Theresa May's Brexit plans, throwing the Cabinet into further chaos and raising the prospect of a leadership challenge against the prime minister.

With only a few months to go until October, when negotiators hoped to finalise the withdrawal agreement to give time for ratification both in the British and European parliaments, strategic decisions will have to be made by companies exposed to Brexit urgently.

London's new Brexit minister said he was confident he could reach a deal, on his first trip to Brussels on Thursday as the European Union warned business to get ready for Britain crashing out of the bloc without agreed terms to cushion the economic disruption.

Anna Soubry, a former cabinet minister who supports close ties with the European Union, told the BBC: "I don't think that she's in charge anymore".

"Can the prime minister inform the House at what point it was decided that Brexit means Remain?"

Shouts rang out across the Commons.

But a mini-rebellion within the Conservative party has led to the amendment to the Trade Bill, which will require the government to push for membership of the EMA in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Davis' former deputy, Steve Baker, chimed in to ask about contingency plans for a no-deal departure.

Though Johnson did not call for May's ouster, his remarks before the pre-recess session, will at the very least remind hardliners of the initial vision behind the referendum.

But, Johnson said, "in the 18 months that have followed, it is though a fog of self-doubt has descended" on the government.

One government minister said on condition of anonymity that the Conservatives had come to their senses and were backing her Brexit plan.

"Let us again aim explicitly for that glorious vision of Lancaster House - a strong, independent self-governing Britain that is genuinely open to the world, not the miserable permanent limbo of Chequers", he said. "Not the democratic disaster of ongoing harmonization with no way out and no say for the UK".

"We would need to consider what action we would take in those circumstances", she added. But he insisted there was still time for May to change course.

Johnson's comments might be interpreted as a dig at Michael Gove, but he is only the most prominent of the "hedgers" - those who argue this deal is enough to get Britain over the line in March and to try again from there.

Theresa May was addressing the parliamentary liaison committee on Wednesday afternoon.

In a sign of Conservative lawmakers falling into line, one of them, Simon Clarke, told the party meeting that he had submitted such a letter but was now withdrawing it for the sake of party unity.

Parliament plans to begin its long summer recess Tuesday after a feverish series of debates on Brexit policy.

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