Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

For Brexit jibe, personal life, Boris Johnson comes under fire

For Brexit jibe, personal life, Boris Johnson comes under fire

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the former foreign secretary said the United Kingdom had opened itself to "perpetual political blackmail" with the so-called backstop plan to ensure no hard border in Ireland.

Mr Baker said he was not advocating a change in leadership and said Tory critics of Chequers do not want to be in a position of conflict with our own prime minister and would give her absolutely every support in forging a free trade deal.

Its existence infuriated allies of the former Foreign Secretary, who accused Conservative headquarters of dirty tricks created to undermine his criticism of her Chequers plans for Brexit.

But the plan and the UK's alternative backstop would both mean "agreeing to take European Union rules, with no say on those rules", leaving the country a "vassal state". "We look like a seven-stone (44kg) weakling being comically bent out of shape by a 500lb (226kg) gorilla", he added.

Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan also suggested that the comments marked "one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid rebuked his former Cabinet colleague, saying: "I think there are much better ways to articulate your differences".

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On Friday, Johnson said he had separated from his wife Marina Wheeler and that the couple would divorce.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Johnson lashed out at the government's "backstop" measure, which aims to ensure there is no hard border with the Republic in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from the EU.

'Under the Chequers proposal we are set to agree to accept their rules - forever - with no say on the making of those rules.

"Comparing the PM to that isn't amusing", he said, taking on Johnson on Twitter.

The Guardian, meanwhile, said his comments have led to "open civil war" in the Conservative party, with several senior Tories demanding an end to his increasingly controversial attacks.

With just 200 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit, Mr Baker said that the PM would lack credibility with Brussels negotiators if she tried to press ahead with her departure plan at the party conference without the backing of her party.

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Boris Johnson and talk of plots in the Conservative party make the majority of Sunday's front pages, while Brexit also features.

Speaking on Monday, May's spokesman said: "This isn't language that the Prime Minister would choose to use".

Downing Street denied re-releasing the details to discredit him now.

Mr Grieve said that language used by Mr Johnson in the Mail on Sunday article was "entirely in character: crude but, for some, entertaining populist polemic".

The plan is known as "Chequers" after the prime minister's country retreat where it was agreed at a cabinet meeting. In what some have branded a distraction tactic, Johnson has since referred to the PM's Chequers deal as a "suicide vest".

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