- Theresa May accuses Boris Johnson of not being serious and having “no new ideas” on Brexit.
- Downing Street’s statement comes after Johnson used his Telegraph to accuse May of surrendering on Brexit.
- May’s spokesman: “There are no new ideas in this article to respond to. What we need at this time is serious leadership with a serious plan.”
- The statement from Number 10 is the strongest yet against Johnson.
LONDON – Theresa May has attacked Boris Johnson for having “no new ideas” on Brexit after he suggested the UK would get “diddly squat” from the prime minister’s plan to leave the EU.
Johnson said that May’s Chequers plan, which prompted him to resign as foreign secretary in July, “means disaster” for Britain.
In response to the column, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “Boris Johnson resigned over Chequers.
“There are no new ideas in this article to respond to.
“What we need at this time is serious leadership with a serious plan and that is exactly what the country has with this prime minister and this Brexit plan.”
Johnson has positioned himself as a serious leadership contender since his resignation, and is reportedly receiving help from associated of election guru Lynton Crosby, and possibly Steve Bannon, the far-right American strategist who was instrumental in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
He dominated headlines earlier this summer after comparing Muslim women who wear burqas to “letter-boxes,” which was widely interpreted as a pitch to the hardline Tory right.
“She is a serious prime minister”
Asked whether the PM believes Boris Johnson is “serious,” her spokesman replied: “She is a serious prime minister and she has put forward serious proposals.”
The so-called Chequers proposals were agreed by cabinet in July at the prime minister’s country retreat as the UK’s favoured approach to negotiations in Brussels.
The plan would see the UK remain closely aligned with the EU in some areas, and it would mean the European Court of Justice continued to interpret EU rules that the UK had agreed to comply with.
Critics of the plan say that it will leave the UK tied too closely to EU rules and prevent Britain from striking its own free trade deals in the future. The UK is set to leave the EU in March next year.
Downing Street insisted there would be no more immediate compromises from the British side in negotiations.
“What the prime minister has said very clearly is that we have made our move and it is now for the EU to make theirs.”
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