Foreign Secretary Johnson breaks ranks with May over Brexit

Boris Johnson has unveiled his vision for a thriving post Brexit Britain
Credit
Ben Stansall  AFP

The watchdog initially warned Vote Leave the number lacked "clarity" because it referred only to the UK's gross annual contribution and did not take into account Britain's rebate or money that comes back from the EU. It would be a fine thing as many of us have pointed out if a lot of that money went on the NHS, provided we use that cash injection to modernise and make the most of new technology... "I haven't got time for the rest of it", she added.

Theresa May can't win with Boris Johnson after her Foreign Secretary appeared to go rogue with a 4,000-word essay on Brexit which continues to upstage the Prime Minister's pending speech on Friday about the terms of Britain's impending departure from the European Union.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd wrote in the Sun on Sunday newspaper that she will publish a proposal for a security treaty with the European Union to maintain links for evidence sharing, extraditions and carrying out arrests.

Rudd, however, said she did not think Johnson was laying the groundwork to challenge May. "She's driving the auto off, to continue the allegory, and I'm going to make sure that as far as I'm concerned and the rest of the Cabinet is concerned, we help her do that".

Mrs Rudd also said Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson "has a point" when she criticised Mr Johnson for submitting the piece as London suffered another terror attack.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose opposition party fared well in the general election, said through a spokesman that Johnson's Brexit views exposed the deep rifts within May's Conservative government.

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Asked if what Johnson had done was backseat driving, she replied: "Yes, you could call it backseat driving".

"All those who write off this country, who think we don't have it in us, who think that we lack the nerve and confidence to tackle the task ahead, they have been proved wrong before, and believe me they will be proved wrong again", Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson has written to Sir David saying he is "surprised and disappointed" about the statistics chief's letter criticising his article.

A prominent Brexit campaigner in last year's referendum, Johnson also repeated the controversial claim that the government would be 350 million pounds ($476 million) better off per week once outside the EU.

Johnson's only comment since his Telegraph article was published was on Twitter, where he said he was "looking forward" to May's speech in Florence later this week.

He argued that the IFS was forecasting a £58bn hole in public finances as a result of Brexit, adding: "Boris's compulsive lying means he has lost the right to be heard on Brexit".

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