Boris Johnson says Theresa May's Brexit plan would leave Britain a ‘colony’ in stunning attack

Posted On: 
9th July 2018

Boris Johnson has launched a withering assault on Theresa May’s Brexit plans just hours after he resigned as Foreign Secretary - saying her plans would leave the UK as a "colony" of Brussels.

Boris Johnson and Theresa May Boris Johnson and Theresa May
Credit: 
PA Images

The Tory heavyweight said the Brexit "dream is dying" unless the Prime Minister changes course.

Mr Johnson became the second Cabinet minister to quit in under 24 hours after David Davis stood down as Brexit Secretary late on Sunday night.

Jeremy Corbyn lays into Theresa May over Boris Johnson and David Davis resignations

WATCH Fresh Tory split as David Davis questions Boris Johnson's decision to quit

Government in chaos as Boris Johnson resigns as Foreign Secretary

Both Conservative big beasts have gone in the wake of last Friday's Chequers summit, at which the Prime Minister's top team signed off her offer to the European Union.

The proposal, set to be fleshed out in a white paper later this week, included plans to agree a "common rule book" on regulations with the EU, as well as collecting tariffs on behalf of Brussels.

But in a sensational two-page resignation letter, Mr Johnson warned that the soft Brexit blueprint amounted to "sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them".

Mr Johnson complained that the UK was now in the "ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts" of EU law "without changing an iota" and without being able to influence the rules.

“In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony - and many will struggle to see the economic of political advantages of that particular arrangement," he said.

He added: “Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward looking global economy. 

"That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt."

Mr Johnson went on: “We have postponed crucial decisions… with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system but with not UK control over that system. 

“It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws. Indeed we have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February…”

Elsewhere in the letter, the former London mayor said “surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods” will stunt the UK’s ability to strike free trade deals.

And he complained about the “impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence”.

He added: “It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them”.

Mr Johnson said he was worried about further concessions on immigration or paying to access the single market. 

And he concluded: “As I said [on Friday] the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat. We must have collective responsibility.

“Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go.”

READ the letter in full below: