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Boris Johnson tells House of Commons 'it's not too late to save Brexit'

Johnson gave his first speech to the House of Commons since resigning earlier this month.

Boris Johnson giving a statement to the House of Commons
Boris Johnson giving a statement to the House of Commons
Image: PA Wire

FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN minister Boris Johnson has urged the government to change its strategy for leaving the European Union, telling MPs in a rousing speech it was “not too late to save Brexit”.

He warned that Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for close economic ties – over which he and Brexit secretary David Davis quit last week – “is BRINO, or Brexit in name only”.

In his first speech to the House of Commons since resigning, where he was flanked by supporters including Davis, Johnson said May could still change course.

“It is not too late to save Brexit. We have time in these negotiations. We have changed tack once and we can change again,” he said.

But he added a deal must be struck now, saying it was “nonsense” that Britain could agree a compromise now that it could later unpick.

With May’s plan “we are volunteering for economic vassalage”, he said, adding that it would leave Britain in “miserable permanent limbo”.

He said May initially proposed a “glorious vision” for Brexit, which involved breaking from the EU’s courts, customs unions and the single market, and forging new trade deals.

But in the past 18 months, “it is as though a fog of self-doubt has descended”, he said.

“We dithered and we burned through our negotiating capital,” he said, noting the agreement to settle Britain’s financial affairs without the legal promise of a future trade deal.

Johnson demanded Britons “believe in this country”.

“There is time, and if the prime minister can fix that vision once again… then I believe she can deliver a great Brexit for Britain,” he said.

© – AFP, 2018

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