Boris Johnson fuels speculation about United Kingdom leadership bid

Cheryl Sanders
September 17, 2017

The Foreign Secretary even has the gall to dredge up the fantasy of £350 million a week extra for the NHS.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

"All those who write off this country, who think we don't have it in us, who think that we lack the nerve and confidence to tackle the task ahead, they have been proved wrong before, and believe me they will be proved wrong again", Mr Johnson said.

"We already have a deep level of collaboration with the European Union on security matters and it is in both our interests to find ways to maintain it", Brexit Secretary David Davis said in a statement.

Pressed on Mr Johnson's actions, she replied: 'You could call it backseat driving'.

The Home Secretary described the Foreign Secretary as an "irrepressible enthusiast" on Brexit. I had rather a lot to do on Friday.

With the security operation still underway following the train bombing at Parsons Green in west London, the Brexit secretary told Brussels it was in both sides' interest to continue to cooperate closely to help protect citizens.

'Yesterday I chaired Cobra, I went to see the police.

Rudd said that while Johnson's article was "backseat driving" over Brexit, it was "absolutely fine" for him to intervene.

Asked if she had read the article, she replied: 'Unfortunately not. "I would expect nothing less from Boris".

But the detailed assessment of life after March 2019 was released just six days before Mrs May sets out her Brexit blueprint in a speech in Florence, fuelling speculation about Mr Johnson's leadership ambitions.

She added: "The long-standing collaboration we have with our European partners allows us to jointly address these threats and keep our citizens safe".

At the same time, Johnson appeared to think it would be possible to retain some access to the EU's single market.

Sir Craig Oliver, former director of communications at Downing Street for David Cameron, said even if the genuine intention was to support the Prime Minister, it was obvious it would be seen in Westminster as a "direct challenge".

Later, after the motives and timing of his intervention were criticised, Mr Johnson insisted in a tweet linked to his article that he was "looking forward to PM's Florence speech".

"Our systems of standards will remain absolutely flush with the rest of the European Union", he said, but when addressing the housing shortage he added: "There may be ways of simplifying planning procedures, post-Brexit, and abbreviating impact assessments, without in any way compromising the environment".

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