Boris Johnson warns Theresa May against 'bog roll Brexit' on referendum anniversary

Posted On: 
23rd June 2018

Boris Johnson has warned against a "bog roll Brexit" as he urged Theresa May to avoid making "some sort of hopeless compromise" with the European Union.

Boris Johnson made the intervention ahead of a two-day cabinet meeting at Chequers next month to thrash out a position on the customs union.
Credit: 
PA

The Foreign Secretary called for a "full British Brexit" instead of "some perpetual pushme-pullyou arrangement". 

The remarks come on the second anniversary of the vote to leave the EU, when thousands are expected to march on Westminster demanding a second referendum. 

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Writing in The Sun Mr Johnson said: "Across the country I find people who - whatever they voted two years ago - just want us to get on and do it.

"They don’t want a half hearted Brexit. They don’t want some sort of hopeless compromise, some perpetual pushme-pullyou arrangement in which we stay half in and half out in a political no mans land - with no more ministers round the table in Brussels and yet forced to obey EU laws."

He added: "They don’t want some bog roll Brexit - soft, yielding and seemingly infinitely long.

"They want this government to fulfil the mandate of the people - and deliver a full British Brexit."

The Cabinet heavyweight's comments come amid a raft of interventions to mark two years since the Brexit vote. 

David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, hailed a "fantastic" future for the UK and warned against attempts to thwart Brexit, saying the EU Withdrawal Bill had made it "inevitable". 

In an interview with The Express to mark the anniversary he said: "It’s going to be fantastic. We’re going to look back in 10 years’ time and wonder why we were every doubtful about it."

He insisted Britain was "able to leave without a deal" if Brussels did not agree to the UK’s demands. 

"We don’t want to do that, never have. The best option is leaving with a good deal but you’ve got to be able to walk away from the table.

"When you go to buy a house, you don’t walk in and say – I’m going to buy the house, now what’s the price? So why should it be any different in a big negotiation like this?

"We’ve got to have the right to walk away – not that we will – but we’ve got to have that right."

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox backed Mr Davis’ words, telling the BBC that Theresa May was "not bluffing" about the possibility of walking away without a deal.

"The prime minister has always said no deal is better than a bad deal," Mr Fox said in an interview with the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

"It is essential as we enter the next phase of the negotiations that the EU understands that and believes it... I think our negotiating partners would not be wise if they thought our PM was bluffing."

But Labour said Mr Fox’s and Mr Davis’ comments about a no-deal Brexit were the "height of irresponsibility". 

"The next time Liam Fox parrots the slogan no deal is better than a bad deal he should give some thought to the 14,000 people who work for Airbus, and the thousands of other people who have jobs dependent on trade with Europe," the shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman said, according to the BBC

The interventions comes as thousands will march from Pall Mall to Parliament Square as part of a “summer of action” by anti-Brexit campaign groups. 

The People’s Vote - which is pushing for the country to get a final vote on the deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels - says it hopes more than 100,000 people will turn out.