Theresa May in thinly-veiled dig at Boris Johnson over 'do or die' Brexit vow

Posted On: 
1st July 2019

Theresa May has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at Boris Johnson over the Tory leadership hopeful's pledge to deliver Brexit "do or die" by 31 October.

Mrs May attended her last EU summit as Prime Minister this weekend.

Attending her last European Union summit as Prime Minister on Sunday, Mrs May said the "best approach" to Brexit would still be to push for a deal that could win the backing of MPs.

Mr Johnson has vowed to renegotiate Mrs May's Brexit withdrawal agreement despite opposition in Brussels to such a move.

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And last week he said he would take Britain out of the EU "do or die" and "come what may" by 31 October.

But, asked if that was the right approach, Mrs May told reporters in Brussels: "I’ve always been very clear that I think the best approach for the UK is to first of all ensure we’re delivering on the vote that took place in 2016, leaving the EU, but that we do that with a good deal so we can do it in an orderly way.

"I still think we negotiated a good deal. I wasn’t able to get a majority in Parliament for that deal.

"It will be up to my successor to get that majority, deliver on the vote and take us forward."

Mr Johnson has pledged to leave the EU with or without a deal and has so far refused to rule out shutting down Parliament to try and force a no-deal Brexit past MPs.

He has only said he is "not attracted to" the move, which is known as proroguing Parliament.

Mrs May's deal was rejected three times in the House of Commons, effectively ending her premiership.


Reflecting on her stormy time dealing with the EU, Mrs May said: "Of course we have had some tough and long talks about Brexit.

"We have also talked about how we will protect and maintain our shared prosperity and security.

"So for example when we saw chemical weapons used on the streets of Salisbury there was a very strong and powerful unified message sent from the UK and the 27 other member states of the EU through the expulsion of many so-called Russian diplomats.

"The UK has also been leading on the issue of climate change where we need to ensure we have a better environment for the future."