Fresh Cabinet row as Boris Johnson 'claims victory over Philip Hammond over Brexit transition'
Cabinet ministers sparked a fresh row over Brexit last night after allies of Boris Johnson claimed to have defeated Philip Hammond over a major policy announcement, new reports have said.
The Foreign Secretary reportedly believes his 4,000 word article laying out his vision for Brexit successfully reduced the planned transitional period for when Britain quits the bloc.
The Prime Minister announced in a major speech in Florence this week that she wanted a period of about two years to smooth the transition for businesses and government departments.
Allies of Mr Johnson have told numerous papers that the Chancellor wanted the transition to be up to five years, but his intervention – which sparked a week-long row – changed the plan.
“Boris managed to get the transition period down massively,” a source told the Mail on Sunday.
“The Treasury originally wanted up to five years, and Hammond was pushing for four years recently.
“Before his article we were heading towards a Norway model – now we end up leaving completely.”
However, a friend of Mr Hammond told the paper the claim was “total bullsh*t”.
In an angry outburst, they added: “I f****** hate having to deal with Boris on this level.
“What a shame he feels the need to do this. He is surely not suggesting that his article altered policy which had been worked up for months?
“The Chancellor has always been in favour of a two- to three-year transition.”
Meanwhile the Sunday Telegraph says Mr Johnson has already set out his red lines for the transition period.
The paper says he wants to adopt no new EU rules and regulations after the Brexit date of March 2019 and have the ability to sign new trade deals.