‘Detonator handed to Brussels’: Boris Johnson calls May’s Brexit plan ‘suicide vest’
Johnson, who resigned as the British foreign secretary following a spat with May over the deal, attacked her plan in harshest terms in remarks written for the Daily Mail.
He insists that the UK has opened itself to “perpetual political blackmail.”“We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to [EU chief Brexit negotiator] Michel Barnier,” he wrote.
“At every stage in the talks so far, Brussels gets what Brussels wants. We have agreed to the EU’s timetable; we have agreed to hand over £39 billion ($50.4 billion), for nothing in return,” Johnson stated in the piece, which was published on Sunday.
Under the current plan, the UK is “set to agree to accept” Brussels’ rules, the politician says. “It is a humiliation. We look like a seven-stone (44kg) weakling being comically bent out of shape by a 500lb (226kg) gorilla,” he added.
Johnson also criticized the Northern Ireland “backstop” by assuming that the UK has given Barnier “a jimmy” with which Brussels can choose at any time “to crack apart” the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
A number of prominent Conservatives criticized Johnson for his statements. Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat took to Twitter, calling upon the former foreign secretary to “grow up.”
A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand. The carnage was disgusting, limbs and flesh hanging from trees and bushes. Brave men who stopped him killing me and others died In horrific pain. Some need to grow up. Comparing the PM to that isn’t funny. https://t.co/IeRWhmhgS9— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) 8 сентября 2018 г.
“There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy,” Minister of State for International Development Alistair Burt added.
I’m stunned at the nature of this attack. There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy. If we don’t stop this extraordinary use of language over Brexit, our country might never heal. Again, I say, enough. https://t.co/DWVuWQgzZy— Alistair Burt (@AlistairBurtUK) 9 сентября 2018 г.
According to Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan, Johnson’s statement “marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics.”
For Boris to say that the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much. This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics. I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later. #neverfittogovernhttps://t.co/rdI0FWQhbi— Sir Alan Duncan MP (@AlanDuncanMP) 8 сентября 2018 г.
The PM managed to secure the controversial Brexit plan, which is also known as the Chequers deal, at a marathon session of talks with her Cabinet in July. The strategy, which defines the relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit, caused a stir both among politicians and British voters.
Opinion polls from July show that British voters overwhelmingly disapprove of May’s handling of Brexit. Instead, they would pin their hopes on a man who was only recently seen as a “liability” – Boris Johnson.
The prolonged Brexit talks have left the Tory government in dire straits. It has seen a string of ministerial resignations, which involved not only Johnson but also the now-former Brexit secretary David Davis.
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