Boris Johnson returns to Brexit debate with polemic attacking 'bottler' Remainers

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

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

The Foreign Secretary fuelled speculation about his leadership ambitions after penning a 4,000-word article on his vision for Brexit, published just six days before Prime Minister Theresa May is due to set out her officially policy on the issue.

"I don't want him managing the Brexit process", Mrs Rudd told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show.

"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. "I don't want him managing the Brexit process, what we've got is Theresa May managing that process, she's driving the vehicle and I'm going to make sure we help her do that".

But asked about Mr Johnson's intervention, she said: "You could call it back-seat driving, absolutely".

Mrs May's speech will reportedly set out her vision for the United Kingdom after Brexit and has been billed as the follow-up to her Lancaster House speech in January which set out her Brexit negotiation plans. "They Brexit isn't going to happen, "who think we are going to bottle it", he added.

BusinessEurope, an umbrella group representing business federations across Europe, said companies needed certainty and time to prepare for future arrangements.

In a Twitter posting Saturday, Johnson declared: "Looking forward to PM's Florence speech".

Johnson's renewed claim that £350m would be saved to spend on the NHS, which even featured on the side of a Leave campaign bus, was shouted down by Remain campaigners a year ago who accused Leave of misleading the public.

Damian Green, a close ally of the prime minister, told Radio 5live's Pienaar's Politics, that the timing of Mr Johnson's article "could have been better for all sorts of reasons not least the awful terrorist incident we've had".

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has drawn up proposals for the new treaty to give legal backing to intelligence, law enforcement and criminal justice partnerships after 2019 - the deadline for the Brexit negotiations.

"It would be very nice if we could get a clear message on where the British are" on their financial obligations with the EU, Danish Finance Minister Anders Samuelsen said in an interview in Copenhagen on Friday. He says Britain shouldn't seek to stay in the European Union's single market or the customs union, and should seize the opportunity to make its own way. "They (the EU) want the same outcomes".

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