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Sun, 24 January 2021

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Boris Johnson in resignation climbdown as Theresa May plans Brussels cash offer

Boris Johnson in resignation climbdown as Theresa May plans Brussels cash offer
2 min read

Boris Johnson has backed away from his threat to quit the Cabinet as Theresa May prepares to make a multi-billion cash offer to Brussels, it has emerged.

According to the Financial Times, the Prime Minister will use a major speech in Florence on Friday to signal that the UK will continue to pay into the EU's coffers until at least the end of 2020.

Britain is prepared to plug an £18bn black hole to be caused by Brexit in a bid to kickstart talks on the UK's future trading relationship with the bloc.

Mr Johnson will be in the front row for Mrs May's speech, despite reports yesterday that he was planning to quit by the weekend if the Prime Minister signalled support for a soft Brexit.

The Foreign Secretary has been at the centre of a political storm since Saturday, when he wrote a 4,000-word article for the Daily Telegraph reviving his claim that leaving the EU will save Britain around £350m a week, most of which could go the NHS.

That led to an extraordinary row with the head of the UK statistics watchdog, who accused him of a "clear misuse" of official statistics.

Theresa May - who is set to deliver a major Brexit speech in Florence on Friday - was eventually forced to slap Mr Johnson down, insisting her government was being "driven from the front"  after Home Secretary Amber Rudd accused her Cabinet colleague of "backseat driving".

In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Johnson insisted he had no intention of quitting.

He said: "I am mystified by all this stuff. Not me, guv. I don’t know where it is coming from, honestly. It feels to me like an attempt to keep the great snore-athon story about my article running. I think that is what is going on."

On Mrs May's speech, he added: "I am confident she will set out an exciting and positive vision for Brexit and it will be a speech around which everyone can unite."

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