David Davis dismisses claims Boris Johnson changed PM's major Brexit speech

Posted On: 
24th September 2017

David Davis has hit back at claims Boris Johnson secured a major shift in Theresa May’s Brexit policy before her landmark speech on Friday.    

Brexit Secretary David Davis dismissed the suggestion that Boris Johnson had changed the Prime Minister's Brexit policy
Credit: 
PA Images

According to reports, the Foreign Secretary thinks his recent 4,000 word article, which laid out his Brexit vision, influenced the Prime Minister's plans for a transitional period after Brexit.

Allies of Mr Johnson suggested he had defeated Philip Hammond in getting Mrs May to pledge a two-year rather than five-year transition.

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But the Brexit Secretary dismissed the claims this morning, saying the Government’s policy had been determined months before Mr Johnson’s article. 

Mr Davis told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “The policies in the Prime Minister’s speech have been coming for a long time. Some of them on transition we were designing right back at the beginning of the year.

"Some of it we have been designing months ago. I don’t think there has been any change of policy in the last few weeks.”     

Asked if he agreed with the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, who last week accused Mr Johnson of ‘backseat driving’ with his Brexit intervention, Mr Davis said: “My car has only got two seats... It was a very good interview, I thought.”   

The claims by Mr Johnson's allies that he changed the policy has sparked a huge briefing row behind the scenes, with a friend of Mr Hammond telling the Mail on Sunday it was “total bullsh*t”.

In an angry outburst, the source 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.”