LONDON — Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson promised a “glorious” Brexit in a 4,000 word Daily Telegraph article, days ahead of a key speech from Prime Minister Theresa May.
Johnson said the UK will not pay to access the single market and reiterated the Vote Leave campaign promise to spend £350 million extra a week on the National Health Service.
“Once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week,” said Johnson.
“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.”
He also said the UK should borrow money to spend on boosting infrastructure in London and that doubters will see the UK “succeed mightily” in Brexit.
“They think that we will simply despair of finding the way out of the EU and sit down on the floor and cry — like some toddler lost in the maze at Hampton Court. Well, in so far as they doubt our resolve, I believe they are wrong; and I am here to tell you that this country will succeed in our new national enterprise, and will succeed mightily,” wrote Johnson.
The article has been seen as a challenge to Theresa May, who is expected to lay out her plans for a “status quo” transitional deal in a speech to to the world’s media next week.
The prime minister will use a keynote speech in Florence, Italy, next Friday to suggest the sort of transitional period that Chancellor Philip Hammond has described a “status quo” arrangement, the Financial Times reports.
The term “status quo” describes a scenario where Britain would continue with many aspects of EU membership during a period lasting up to three years commencing after Brexit day in March 2019. This could include staying both in the single market and customs union until a long-term arrangement post-Brexit is ready to be implemented.