Number 10 Lobby briefing on Boris, Brexit and a second referendum

Posted On: 
8th June 2018

Here is a summary of this morning's briefing for lobby journalists by the Prime Minister's official spokesman.



Number Ten this morning slapped down Boris Johnson, after the Foreign Secretary was secretly recorded making inflammatory remarks about Brexit.

Mr Johnson said Brexit could lead to "meltdown" and admitted that there were "arguments" going on at the heart of Government over the best way for Britain to quit the bloc.

He also said it was “beyond belief” that the negotiations were being dominated by disagreements over the Northern Irish border, which he described as a “small” issue.

But this morning, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “Our position on the importance of finding a solution to the Irish border couldn’t be clearer. It has been a priority for the PM from day one of the negotiations and will continue to be so.

“I think it is important to say it’s a priority not because the EU has made it one, but because the PM is committed to the union and because the re-emergence of a hard border would put that at risk.”


The spokesman also dismissed claims that Theresa May had been snubbed by Donald Trump, amid suggestions that the Prime Minister had been refused a bilateral meeting with the US President.

She said: “She will be working alongside him today in many of the working sessions and she obviously spoke to him earlier this week and will be seeing him for his visit next month. So she’s had lots of opportunity to talk to him.

When asked if Mrs May has been subbed, she replied: “No”

On the contentious issue of new US tariffs on steel, the spokesman added that Mr Trump had “been made aware” of Mrs May’s views on the issue this week by telephone.

She added that the pair “have a good working relationship.”


The spokesman also downplayed reports that foreign Office minister Alan Duncan said it would be "possible” for Britain to hold another referendum on the final Brexit deal.

She said: “There isn’t gubg  to be a second referendum…

“I think that his comments were taken completely out of context and if you read them within the context in which he said them, he was in perfect alignment with what the PM says and there won’t be a second referendum.”