Boris Johnson branded an 'appeaser' for backing 'turd' Brexit plan

Posted On: 
8th July 2018

Boris Johnson has been likened to Nazi-appeaser Neville Chamberlain, after the Foreign Secretary backed a Chequers deal on Brexit he himself dismissed as a "turd".

Boris Johnson said backing the soft Brexit deal would be "like trying to polish a turd"
Credit: 
PA

Tory Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen accused the Cabinet heavyweight of "waving the white flag of appeasement" by falling in line behind Theresa May's soft Brexit compromise deal at Friday's marathon Cabinet summit.

According to the Sun on Sunday, Mr Johnson launched a tirade against the compromise plan - which would create a joint EU-UK free trade area and align rules on goods with Brussels - at the Cabinet showdown.

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He reportedly said: "Anyone defending the proposal we have just agreed will find it like trying to polish a turd. Luckily, we have some expert turd-polishers in this government."

But after the Brexiteers in the Cabinet dropped their opposition to the proposal and the Foreign Secretary backed the plan, Mr Bridgen accused the former London mayor of betrayal.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the Conservative MP fumed: "This so-called Brexit deal is nothing short of a betrayal of the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU. What on earth were the staunch Leavers in the Cabinet doing?

"Where was Boris Johnson? At Chequers on Friday, we needed him to emulate his hero, Winston Churchill. Instead, he gave us a modern-day version of Neville Chamberlain."

Mr Chamberlain was the British prime minister who backed a compromise policy of 'appeasement' with Adolf Hitler's Germany before the outbreak of World War Two.

An ally of Mr Johnson hit back, however, insisting the Foreign Secretary was of "more use to the country inside the Cabinet because it will enable him to stop a soft Brexit getting any softer".

They told the Mail on Sunday: "The only person who would benefit from him leaving Cabinet would be [EU Chief Negotiator] Michel Barnier.

"By staying, Boris can carry on making the argument for the Brexiteers. But he supports collective Cabinet responsibility and will abide by it. He will not be speaking out publicly against the proposals."

Cabinet opposition to Mrs May's proposal is said to have waned once Michael Gove - a key figure in the campaign to leave the European Union - threw his weight behind it.

A source told the Sunday Telegraph the Environment Secretary had been "the main snake in the grass" by backing the plan.

The furious Mr Bridgen also took aim at other Cabinet ministers who had signed up to the soft Brexit deal.

"Sadly, the Foreign Secretary was not alone in apparently waving the white flag of appeasement in the direction of Brussels," he said.

"Other Brexiteer buccaneers and recent Brexit converts also jumped ship.

"The door to Mrs May’s country residence was open but they chose not to walk out of it. Perhaps the threat of the withdrawal of the Government limo was just too great."