John­son keen to see a hard Brexit

The Nation - - WORLD -

BRI­TISH For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son made a ral­ly­ing cry for Brexit yes­ter­day in what will be viewed as a chal­lenge to Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, one week be­fore her own big speech on the sub­ject. In a 4,000-word ar­ti­cle for the Daily Tele­graph news­pa­per, John­son ar­gued for a clean break with the Euro­pean Union, par­tic­u­larly on the fraught is­sue of bud­get pay­ments.

John­son, who has long been tipped as a fu­ture prime min­is­ter, played a key role in the ref­er­en­dum vote to leave the bloc last year but since then has largely stayed out of do­mes­tic pol­i­tics.

His in­ter­ven­tion, ex­actly one week be­fore the prime pin­is­ter makes a ma­jor speech on Brexit in Florence next Fri­day, raised more than a few eye­brows among politi­cians and com­men­ta­tors.

May’s author­ity was weak­ened af­ter she called a snap elec­tion in June, only to lose her Con­ser­va­tive party’s ma­jor­ity in the House of Com­mons.

“Is this time to place our fu­ture in Boris’s hands and pre­pare for new lead­er­ship?” Tele­graph com­men­ta­tor Charles Moore wrote in an ac­com­pa­ny­ing ar­ti­cle.

As ne­go­ti­a­tions with the EU stall, John­son sought to em­pha­sis the ben­e­fits of Brexit against those who “think we are going to bot­tle it”.

JOHN­SON

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