Boris Johnson fuels speculation about United Kingdom leadership bid

18 September, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Boris Johnson urges calm after explosion on the tube

In the 4,000 word article, Johnson outlined a cost-benefit analysis on how leaving the bloc will bring Brits the most benefits for the smallest cost.

However, it caused controversy amid warnings that it did not take into account Britain's rebate from the EU.

In a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Sir David Norgrove accused Mr Johnson of a "clear misuse of statistics" after he once again claimed the amount could be investedin the NHS when Britain leaves the European Union.

"I don't want him managing the Brexit process, what we have got is Theresa May managing the process, driving the vehicle".

At lunchtime, Sir David's letter, accusing the foreign secretary of "a clear misuse of official statistics".

She said ministers must be united in their approach and help the prime minister manage the Brexit process.

The Foreign Secretary also writes about opportunities for the United Kingdom once it takes control if its cash, borders and laws.

The timing of his Brexit broadside is important because May is scheduled to detail her own Brexit views at a much-touted speech in Italy on September 22.

Sir David's predecessor, Sir Andrew Dilnot, had previously called the use of the £350m figure "misleading".

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Ending jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Britain was a key rallying cry of pro-Brexit campaigners ahead of last year's referendum on EU membership, along with calls to cut migration to the country.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, also accused Mr Johnson of "backseat driving".

"What we've got is Theresea May managing that process, she's driving the vehicle to continue the allegory, and I'm going to make sure as far as I'm concerned and the rest of the cabinet is concerned we help her do that".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson criticised the timing, it's publication coming as the terror threat level was raised to critical after a bomb injured 30 people on a tube train at Parsons Green in west London.

British business leaders urged Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a three-year transitional period after Brexit, warning failure to secure more time would jeopardize "our collective prosperity".

Reacting to the furor his article had generated, Johnson tweeted on Saturday: "Looking forward to PM's Florence Speech".

But the detailed assessment of life after March 2019 was released just six days before Mrs May sets out her Brexit blueprint in a speech in Florence, fuelling speculation about Mr Johnson's leadership ambitions.

Asked if he viewed himself as "Theresa May's Willie", a reference to Margaret Thatcher's remarks about her reliance on deputy Willie Whitelaw, he replied: "I was a huge admirer of Willie Whitelaw in my youth and absolutely I would be very content to have him as a role model".

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