‘Enough Brexit mess’ - EU’s Verhofstadt vetoes Boris plan to delay Brexit

Howard TerryOct 03, 2018

In what will undoubtedly be seen as a pitch to replace Theresa May as leader, Mr Johnson will not only restate his opposition to the Prime Minister's handling of Brexit but call on Tories to focus on law and order, tax cuts and house-building in order to defeat Labour.

"It occurs to me that the authors of the Chequers proposal risk prosecution under the 14th-century statute of praemunire, which says that no foreign court or government shall have jurisdiction in this country", he said at one point.

The Scottish secretary's remarks followed reports yesterday that several senior Scottish Tories were mounting a campaign to stop Mr Johnson succeeding Theresa May as party leader and prime minister.

But unease in the party over her Brexit plan - agreed at Chequers in July - was illustrated by backbencher James Duddridge, who told the BBC's Today programme the PM was "not listening". The Brexiteer managed his largest applause when he attacked May's Chequers deal, branding it as "not pragmatic, it is not a compromise".

"My fellow Conservatives, this is not democracy".

"What are you up to Boris?" asked one of the gathered media, while another yelled out: "Is this part of a leadership challenge Mr Johnson?"

"Surely to goodness we can take this Tony Benn tribute act and wallop it for six", he said, referring to the late Labour socialist cabinet minister. This is not taking back control: "it is forfeiting control".

"If we get it wrong, if we bottle Brexit now, believe me, the people of this country will find it hard to forgive", Johnson told the hundreds of Conservatives who queued to get a seat in a hall just across from the main venue where May will address the party's annual conference on Wednesday. So I would like her to concentrate on domestic policy and what the Conservatives should be doing beyond Brexit: housing policy, financial policy, health policy.

"What we saw previous year was two things: on the stage itself it was like a trial by ordeal and she fought through and she kept on fighting and she got to the end of the speech and the auditorium erupted". And if we get it right we can have a glorious future. "If we cheat the electorate - and Chequers is a cheat - we will escalate that sense of mistrust".

'We will give credence to those who cry betrayal, and I am afraid we will make it more likely that the ultimate beneficiary of the Chequers deal will be the far-right in the form of Ukip, and therefore the far-left in the form of Jeremy Corbyn'. She'll make a good speech'.

Mr Johnson said Chequers would leave the United Kingdom "locked in the tractor beam of Brussels", and warned that the only winners from a Chequers-style Brexit would be the far-right and far-left in British politics.

Amid reports that Cabinet ministers are urging her to set a date for her departure, she will claim Britain's future after leaving the European Union is full of promise.

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