Boris Johnson Speaks Out About ‘Semi-Brexit’ After Calling It Quits as UK Foreign Secretary
Former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson sent his resignation letter to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May after one of her spokesmen announced that Johnson was stepping down on Monday.
“It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy,” he wrote in the letter. “We appear to be headed for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.”
“I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary,” he tweeted. “It is with sadness that I step down: here is my letter explaining why.”
I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary. It is with sadness that I step down: here is my letter explaining why. pic.twitter.com/NZXzUZCjdF
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 9, 2018
There is speculation that Johnson might attempt to gain May’s powerful position by getting enough members of Parliament to give votes of no confidence in her leadership, reported The Guardian.
Brexit Secretary David Davis had also resigned hours earlier because he said the U.K. is “giving away too much and too easily,” as did Brexit under-secretary Steve Baker, reported BBC.
A proposed deal constructed by May and her cabinet on Friday spurred the wave of resignations, reported The Guardian. Johnson reportedly called promoting the weak deal “polishing a turd.”
Johnson’s “replacement will be announced shortly,” said a spokesman for the prime minister.
May had already replaced the other hard Brexiters who quit. Member of Parliament (MP) and housing minister Dominic Raab will replace Davis as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, reported BBC.
Davis, Raab and Johnson supported a hard Brexit during the 2016 referendum.
The U.K. envisions leaving the EU on March 29, 2019, after over 45 years in the bloc. But negotiating the terms of Brexit is proving challenging, especially when it comes to trade. Hardline Brexiters fear May will backtrack on exiting the Customs Union, which forces it to set external tariffs, and the Single Market, which heavily regulates goods that can move freely within the EU.
However, while speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, May maintained that the U.K. will leave the Customs Union and Single Market. She released a statement laying out the four steps of her Brexit model that she says will ensure a healthy economy on Friday. The government will release a “white paper” with more detail on Thursday, reported The Guardian.
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