Boris Johnson slams Brexit plan as he sets out his Tory vision

Boris Johnson slams Brexit plan as he sets out his Tory vision

In a series of interviews and TV appearances, the Remain-supporting cabinet minister defended Theresa May's so-called Chequers plan to deliver Brexit against criticism by Johnson, who has described it as "deranged".

Asked about his suggestion that her Chequers plan for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union was "deranged", Mrs May insisted she was acting in "the national interest".

Mr Johnson then went on to give his views on the Good Friday agreement, which Mrs May's partner in government - DUP leader Arlene Foster - yesterday said was not "sacrosanct" while also praising the "belief" and "spirits" set out in Boris Johnson's Brexit plan.

Mr Hammond mocked his former Cabinet colleague by mimicking his style of speaking in an interview with the Daily Mail, in which he predicted that Mr Johnson will never become PM.

And she will look to turn the tide of internal party anger towards Jeremy Corbyn's Labour, suggesting on the back of the anti-Semitism row that it is now the new nasty party with the Conservatives as the party of patriotism, business, aspiration and "above all a party of Unionism".

She painted an optimistic picture of post-Brexit Britain, saying "I passionately believe that our best days lie ahead of us and that our future is full of promise".

He said he was anxious the United Kingdom was "so demoralised and so exhausted" that it might submit to foreign rule, a clear attack on May's Brexit plans.

He branded Mrs May's call for a facilitated customs arrangement - part of the Chequers plan to break the impasse in Brexit talks - "entirely preposterous".

"I think the Chequer's plan is completely unacceptable for a country like Britain which has been a sovereign country for a thousand years, we've written our own rules, we can not have the worst of both world's - that is to say, to have people's rules without any chance of writing them". But he was quick to add he would stick by May, if not her plan, at least for now.

When pressed about Mr. Johnson's comments, she added: "There's one thing we all know about Boris is that he'll put on a good show".

Other ministers chimed in, with Justice Minister David Gauke doubting Johnson's credentials for leadership.

Britain's Brexit Minister Dominic Raab has said the European Union (EU) "needs to get serious and they need to do it now" and that, if forced, the country would accept a no-deal scenario.

Mary Wylie, a local party official from Devon in southwest England, said Johnson's speech expressed "my Conservative philosophy".

He won applause as he said: "My fellow Conservatives, this is not democracy".

"Am I disappointed [that he didn't declare]?"

"Boris was at Chequers, he resigned after Chequers, I don't think his position is news to anybody, it's a position he has held for the last few months", he told the Press Association.

While the thrust of his speech was for a change in policy and not a change in leader, the breadth of topics covered and the broad vision Mr Johnson sought to outline will have left those who heard his speech in no doubt that he still has designs on Downing Street.

It was a leadership speech in all but name from a politician who quit the government in July over May's Brexit plan, but remains a huge Conservative star - and, his fans hope, a future prime minister. "We should be constantly aiming not to increase but to cut taxes", he will say.

"I think the whole country will be listening and the whole country will be saying here is a guy that was deeply involved in securing Brexit in the first place who is basically saying that Chequers is a constitutional outrage, and it is".

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