Boris ‘all be­hind PM’ after spark­ing lead­er­ship bid claims

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

BORIS JOHN­SON has in­sisted he is “all be­hind Theresa for a glo­ri­ous Brexit” after set­ting out a 4,000-word vi­sion of Bri­tain’s fu­ture out­side the Euro­pean Union that has been viewed as a chal­lenge to her lead­er­ship.

The For­eign Sec­re­tary re­vived the widely crit­i­cised claim quit­ting the EU could boost NHS cof­fers by £350m a week and warned against pay­ing for ac­cess to Euro­pean mar- kets in the fu­ture.

But the de­tailed as­sess­ment of life after March 2019 was re­leased just six days be­fore Mrs May sets out her Brexit blue­print in a speech in Florence, fu­elling spec­u­la­tion about Mr John­son’s lead­er­ship am­bi­tions.

In a tweet linked to his ar­ti­cle, Mr John­son in­sisted, how­ever, he was “looking for­ward to PM’s Florence speech”.

“All be­hind Theresa for a glo­ri­ous Brexit,” he added.

Writ­ing for the Daily Tele­graph, Mr John­son sug­gested con­tin­ued mem­ber­ship of the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union would make a “com­plete mock­ery” of the ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

He in­sisted Brexit would al­low the UK to “be the great­est coun­try on earth” and “our destiny will be in our own hands”.

“This coun­try will suc­ceed in our new na­tional en­ter­prise, and will suc­ceed might­ily,” he wrote.

The Leave cam­paign’s most eye­catch­ing pledge dur­ing the ref­er­en­dum cam­paign was a claim that end­ing Bri­tain’s con­tri­bu­tions to the EU would free up an ex­tra £350m a week that could be spent on the NHS.

But it was widely de­rided in the weeks after the re­sult, and Mr John­son and other cam­paign­ers ap­peared to dis­tance them­selves from the prom­ise. In the ar­ti­cle for the Tele- graph, how­ever, he said the UK would “roughly” be £350m bet­ter off and it would be a “fine thing” if a lot of it went on the health ser­vice.

He wrote: “Once we have set­tled our ac­counts, we will take back con­trol of roughly £350m per week. It would be a fine thing as many of us have pointed out if a lot of that money went on the NHS, pro­vided we use that cash in­jec­tion to mod­ernise and make the most of new tech­nol­ogy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.