Boris Johnson attacks Theresa May’s Chequers plan

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has attacked Theresa May’s Brexit proposal, the Chequers plan. Johnson called it “a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country”, and saying it would “cheat” the public if implemented.

Johnson supports the adoption of a ‘Super Canada’ style proposal instead, which is closer to a hard Brexit. He wrote in an article for the Telegraph:

“Overall, the Chequers proposals represent the intellectual error of believing that we can be half-in, half-out: that it is somehow safer and easier for large parts of our national life to remain governed by the EU even though we are no longer in the EU.

“They are in that sense a democratic disaster. There is nothing safe or ‘pragmatic’ in being bound by rules over which we have no say, interpreted by a federalist court.

“The Chequers proposals are the worst of both worlds. They are a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country. It is almost incredible that after two years this should be the opening bid of the British government.”

This is merely the latest in a war of words between Johnson and May, after the former likened the Prime Minister’s exit strategy to strapping a “suicide vest” to the country. May determined this “completely inappropriate”.

There are critics of a Canada-style deal, including Prime Minister Theresa May herself, who say it would still mean customs checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which could threaten the Good Friday Agreement. The EU also has reservations, arguing the integrity of its single market could be harmed if there are not proper checks in place.

Johnson’s successor Jeremy Hunt has called for calm claiming that this point in negotiations were always going to look like “everyone was looking into the abyss”. He has also backed May and warned that “underestimating Mrs May is one of the biggest mistakes that you could make right now”.

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