Boris Johnson says he would ‘rather stay in the EU’ than face soft Brexit
Boris Johnson has reportedly told allies that he would rather Britain stay in the European Union than have to accept a soft Brexit.
The Foreign Secretary is said to have told friends that leaving the bloc but remaining closely aligned would be a "total waste of time," and would leave the UK as “just another Norway”.
According to The Sun, Mr Johnson said: “I’d rather us stay in than leave like that”.
The comments echo a report by Politico, which claims Mr Johnson told allies that those calling for Britain to remain tied to EU rules and regulations after Brexit were "mad," adding that: "You’d be better off staying in."
Norway, while not a member of the European Union, has full access to the bloc's single market, in exchange for having to accept rules such as freedom of movement.
Mr Johnson is also reported to fear that Theresa May will eventually be “worn down” and forced to accept a bad deal by Whitehall and pro-Remain Cabinet figures trying to undermine the exit process.
The paper adds that he believes the ‘establishment’ in the Civil Service and the City will step up efforts to stop Britain from leaving the EU altogether over the course of the next year.
And in a bid to prevent a turnaround in the polls over Brexit, the Foreign Secretary is said to be working on a speech that will push the case for a “liberal Brexit”.
His comments come days after Nigel Farage warned that Brexit was not a certainty and that those on the Leave side must not “lose the historic victory that was Brexit”.
In a call for those on the pro-Leave side to “get organised” again, the former Ukip chief told the Observer: “The Remain side are making all the running”.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe