Chequers is much worse than status quo, says Boris Johnson

Chequers is much worse than status quo, says Boris Johnson

Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington where he received the Irving Kristol Award, the former Foreign Secretary said Theresa May's Chequers plan must be ditched but she should remain as Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson spoke at an Economists for Free Trade (EFT) event on Tuesday attended by a battalion of Tory Brexit big-hitters including Jacob-Rees Mogg, former Brexit secretary David Davis and his ex-deputy Steve Baker, former party leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex-Defra Secretary Owen Paterson.

The group has faced criticism from opponents who say it has attacked the Government's plans without coming up with one of its own on one of the main sticking points in discussions between Brussels and the Government.

But pro-Brexit Environment Secretary Michael Gove said Wednesday that speculation about a leadership challenge is just "loose talk".

His comments helped the pound push back above $1.30.

"The treaty is clear, we have two years to reach an agreement before they leave... in March 2019".

Under May's proposals, Britain will seek a free trade area for goods with the European Union, largely by accepting a "common rulebook" for goods and British participation in European Union agencies that provide authorisations for goods.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that EU negotiators "stand ready to work day and night to reach a deal".

Eminem - Killshot Lyrics (Machine Gun Kelly Diss)
In a Thursday interview with rapper Sway, Eminem got candid about the backlash, saying he now believes he crossed a line by including the slur.

Even a small rebellion inside her party on a final deal could spell the end of her minority government and throw Britain's exit into chaos.

He told the programme: "I always think that rather than allowing a unit in Downing Street to take on its own colleagues and backbenchers, and accuse and attack them, I think the best thing is always for them to say, "I tell you what, let's get together and thrash this out and see what we can come up with".

It comes as ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson moved on from describing the Chequers blueprint as a suicide vest to suggesting the United Kingdom should slash taxes after Brexit. The rift deepened this week with Johnson comparing May's plan to a "suicide vest" on Britain's constitution.

Freeman told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: "I think they [opponents to May] risk making Parliament, the Conservative Party and the prime minister look shambolic". Under Conservative rules, a leadership election is triggered if 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers, now 48 out of its 315 members of parliament (MPs), demand a vote of no confidence.

Mrs May last month hailed her Chequers plan as a document that "delivers on the Brexit people voted for".

The BBC said those at the Tuesday night meeting which did not include all the ERG's senior figures had discussed possible scenarios depending on whether May was able to secure a deal with the European Union based on her proposals.

Mrs May's spokesman said Chequers was "the only serious, credible and negotiable plan".

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