Boris John­son de­mands PM May scrap Brexit pro­pos­als

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD -

Brexit cam­paigner Boris John­son called on Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May to rip up her pro­posal for Bri­tain’s exit from the Euro­pean Union, ratch­et­ing up the pres­sure on May as she pre­pares to face her di­vided party at its an­nual con­fer­ence next week.

Just six months be­fore Bri­tain is due to leave the Euro­pean Union on March 29, 2019, lit­tle is clear: May has yet to clinch a Brexit di­vorce deal with the EU and rebels in her party have threat­ened to vote down any deal she makes.

Adding to the un­cer­tainty, a poll of polls pub­lished on Fri­day showed vot­ers would now vote 52 to 48 per­cent in fa­vor of re­main­ing in the EU were there to be an­other Brexit ref­er­en­dum. May has re­peat­edly ruled out an­other ref­er­en­dum.

John­son, the book­mak­ers’ fa­vorite to suc­ceed May, said her Brexit plans would leave the United King­dom half in and half out of the club it joined in 1973 and in ef­fec­tive “en­forced vas­salage.”

“This is the mo­ment to change the course of the ne­go­ti­a­tions and do jus­tice to the am­bi­tions and po­ten­tial of Brexit,” John­son, who re­signed in July as for­eign sec­re­tary over May’s Brexit pro­pos­als, wrote in Fri­day’s Daily Tele­graph.

Un­der the head­line, “My plan for a bet­ter Brexit,” John­son, called for a “Su­per Canada-type free trade agree­ment.” He said the EU’s “back­stop” pro­pos­als for North­ern Ire­land, un­der which the Bri­tish-ruled prov­ince would re­main within the EU cus­toms union even if the rest of Bri­tain left, amounted to the eco­nomic an­nex­a­tion of part of the UK.

The plan out­lined by John­son gained sup­port from other rebels such as Con­ser­va­tive law­maker Ja­cob Rees-Mogg who are push­ing for a deeper break with the EU.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity for the UK to be­come more dy- namic and more suc­cess­ful, and we should not be shy of say­ing that – and we should rec­og­nize that it is ex­actly this po­ten­tial our EU part­ners seek to con­strain,” John­son wrote.

May, who voted to stay in the EU, is try­ing to clinch a di­vorce deal with the EU while grap­pling with an open re­bel­lion in her Con­ser­va­tive Party, which con­venes in the English city of Birm­ing­ham on Sun­day for its an­nual party con­fer­ence.

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