Boris Johnson to make personal statement on his resignation from Government

Saul Bowman
July 19, 2018

May is to visit the border area between Northern Ireland and Ireland during a two-day tour, Downing Street announced Wednesday. Britons should be "great independent actors" on the world stage, not "rule takers", he said.

Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump said Mrs May needed a "carve out" in any Brexit agreement to ensure the United Kingdom can make a deal with the US.

Johnson led the main "leave" campaign in the 2016 referendum and is once again positioning himself as the champion of hard-Brexiteers against moderates who say Britain must compromise with Brussels to keep preferable access to the European Union market.

The bill gives the government the power to set up new worldwide trade relationships after Britain leaves the European Union next March.

Such plans would allow Britain to do a "bold, ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement not just with the European Union... but also to do new trade deals around the world", he said.

Tendering his resignation to the Prime Minister, Mr Davis admitted there had been "a significant number of occasions in the a year ago or so" when he had disagreed with the Prime Minister's approach to Brexit.

While her interview and an article she wrote in a major national newspaper was a "don't rock the boat' plea to Conservative rebels, May was confronted by a new poll showing her party's popularity had fallen by six points since early June to 36, four behind the main opposition Labour Party who remained at 40 points". With May's support faltering, members of her own party, including Davis, felt emboldened to ask critical questions about her way forward.

She also warned the Government could not accept an amendment by pro-EU Tories which would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

The Government could be forced into a compromise to avoid a damaging blow to the Prime Minister's authority.


Shouts rang out across the Commons.

Pressure on the Prime Minister continued to mount as a poll gave Labour a five-point lead over the Conservatives.

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.

And he added: "The problem is not that we have failed to make the case for a free trade agreement of the kind spelt out at Lancaster House".

With May's plan "we are volunteering for economic vassalage", he said, adding that it would leave Britain in "miserable permanent limbo".

"Not the democratic disaster of ongoing harmonisation with no way out and no say for the UK".

Johnson insisted there was still time to adjust and that the country must do so because much was at stake.

"It is absolute nonsense to imagine, as I fear some of my colleagues do, that we can somehow afford to make a botched treaty now, and then break and reset the bone later on", he said.

Mrs May will also try to rally her deeply divided Parliamentary party as she addresses a meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers in the evening.

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