Boris Johnson could resign if Theresa May opts for 'Swiss-style' Brexit

Posted September 21, 2017

Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson said he was not going to resign, when questioned on Tuesday following reports that he could quit before the weekend if his Brexit demands were not met by Prime Minister Theresa May.

It was reported by the Telegraph, that Johnson could even resign before the weekend if May signalled that she will sign the United Kingdom up for paying access to the single market permanently, in an arrangement similar to remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Telegraph reports the foreign minister said he "could not live with" the Swiss-style proposal, calling it an "EEA-minus" version of Brexit.

But May's cabinet have been summoned to a rare Thursday meeting to discuss the text of her Brexit update speech in Florence, to be delivered on Friday morning.

The MP for Spelthorne, parliamentary private secretary to Philip Hammond, spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer as the fallout from Boris Johnson's explosive Brexit article continues.

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Johnson and May are both in NY today, but no joint meeting is planned.

"The PM has said consistently that she values the contribution of people from across the cabinet, and clearly this is a significant moment in terms of our progress, and in terms of our relationship with Europe".

Speaking to The Guardian, the Foreign Secretary declared himself "mystified" by the response to his 4,000-word essay, pointing out that his critics had accused him of remaining silent on Brexit.

"So I contributed a small article to the pages of the Telegraph, and now everyone who had previously accused me of saying too little are now saying I am saying rather too much".

The former Tory leadership hopeful spoke to TV cameras in NY after bumping into them on his return from a jog.

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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.

Even though Mr Johnson tried to draw the sting out of the controversy by claiming "we are a nest of singing birds", such a vainglorious Brexiteer must have known that his provocative article in the Daily Telegraph would create the impression that he's on political manoeuvres of his own.

Another former cabinet minister, Ken Clarke, said Mr Johnson was taking advantage of Mrs May's weakness after she lost the Conservative majority at the election in June. Then, Johnson was forced to say he wouldn't consider standing until 2019 after being spotted having a drink with Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, a key ally of the Prime Minister.

Downing Street insisted that May has full confidence in Johnson.

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