Threat To UK PM May Of Johnson Resignation "Recedes" On Brexit Accord

by Abel Hampton September 21, 2017, 0:17

IT speaks volumes that Theresa May's meet and greet with President Donald Trump at the United Nations was probably more straightforward, and less stressful, than her awkward meeting with Boris Johnson following a turbulent 96 hours since the Foreign Secretary broke ranks over Brexit.

Friends of Johnson told a newspaper yesterday he "could not live with" the version of Brexit under consideration, which prompted the publication of his personal vision for Brexit on Saturday.

Mrs May will renew her efforts to show who is in charge on Thursday, with a special Cabinet meeting on the eve of her speech.

But asked whether Mr Johnson should be dismissed, the Prime Minister said: "Boris is doing good work as Foreign Secretary".

Mrs May's top European Union adviser Oliver Robbins told his counterparts in European Union capitals, including Berlin, that the offer would be included in the Prime Minister's address, the report says.

Billed as the PM's most important update to the Government's position since her Lancaster House address in January, the Florence speech is thought likely to include an attempt to break the deadlock over the UK's financial settlement.

"Let's be clear, this isn't about individual views of Cabinet ministers, we in Cabinet are united behind the approach of Theresa May and that is the right approach, as it is focused on getting the best deal for the UK".

In an interview with the Guardian in NY, the man who past year fronted the Vote Leave campaign said it was about time people heard what he had to say on Brexit and played down reports that might quit this weekend.

Mr Johnson told journalists in NY yesterday that the Cabinet was unified in its stance, describing it as a "nest of singing birds".

But asked directly if he would resign today, Johnson replied "no", telling reporters: "I think you might be barking up the wrong tree".

"There are rules called collective responsibility", former Tory Chancellor Kenneth Clarke told BBC Radio 4.

He added: "We are working together, that is the key thing, to make sure that Britain can take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit".

Meanwhile, Ms May said she was confident of achieving a consensus, saying: "Yes, the Cabinet is absolutely clear about the destination we are aiming for in relation to our European negotiations".

"Normally a foreign secretary would be sacked instantly", he said of Johnson's intervention.

May, who could leave herself vulnerable to a leadership challenge if she sacked Johnson, has indicated she expects him to continue in the Cabinet.

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