UK’s Boris John­son reignites lead­er­ship spec­u­la­tion with Brexit plan

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - ONDON

L- Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son set out his plans for a “glo­ri­ous” Brexit in a lengthy newspaper ar­ti­cle yes­ter­day that an­gered col­leagues and reignited spec­u­la­tion he would chal­lenge Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May for the lead­er­ship of the Con­ser­va­tive party.

With May due to set out her vi­sion for Brexit in a speech in the Ital­ian city of Florence on Friday, John­son pub­lished a 4 300-word ar­ti­cle that roamed well be­yond his min­is­te­rial brief and, in some cases, went be­yond the ap­proach set out by the govern­ment.

Bri­tain, he said, would not pay to ac­cess European mar­kets in t he f ut ur e . Once out of t he European Union, the coun­try should bor­row to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture, re­form the tax code and set im­mi­gra­tion lev­els as it sees fit. A prom­i­nent Brexit cam­paigner in last year’s ref­er­en­dum, John­son also re­peated the con­tro­ver­sial claim that the govern­ment would be 350 mil­lion pounds bet­ter off per week once out­side the EU.

“My friends, I must re­port that there are at least some peo­ple who are woe­fully un­der­es­ti­mat­ing this coun­try,“John­son wrote in the Daily Tele­graph. “They think Brexit isn’t go­ing to hap­pen. “I am here to tell you that this coun­try will suc­ceed in our new na­tional en­ter­prise, and will suc­ceed might­ily.”

“We have a glo­ri­ous fu­ture.” A fa­vorite with grass­roots mem­bers of the Con­ser­va­tive Party, John­son had been ex­pected to chal­lenge for the lead­er­ship af­ter May gam­bled away her par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity in a June elec­tion she did not need to call.

In­stead, he pub­licly pledged his loy­alty. But the Times newspaper re­ported ear­lier this week that John­son be­lieved he had since been side­lined as May pre­pares to com­pro­mise over a di­vorce bill with the EU to ease the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son.

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