Boris Wants to Shake Tory Strategists Plotting Snap Election ‘By the Throat’

Boris
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Leading Brexiteer and former Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Boris Johnson has lambasted a rumoured scheme to trigger a snap election in June, despite Theresa May’s promise she would not lead the Conservative Party into its next election battle.

Responding to reports that Downing Street strategists are wargaming a June 6th election following a delay to Brexit, the former two-time Mayor of London wrote that, “if there really is some genius in Tory HQ who wants to call an election this year,” he “would like to reach out the that person and shake them warmly by the throat.”

He claimed he was not opposed to another election because he feared losing it, and poured scorn on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “incoherent” Brexit position — but said there would be an equally glaring “hole” in any Tory manifesto.

 

“I have no idea what we would say about the EU – because after two and a half years of dither the truly astonishing feature of the UK position is that the big questions have still not been answered,” he said.

“We are still proposing to give up £39 billion – a staggering sum – with no clarity about the future relationship; and when I say there is no clarity, that is not by any means the fault of the EU. It is unclear what the UK is really asking for,” he explained, pointing out that, even if Theresa May is able to change the contentious “backstop” in her rejected deal with the EU, the terms of Britain’s final relationship with the bloc — which the deal does not address, instead only buying time for even more negotiations — remain unclear.

“Remember that after March 29 we do not really shake ourselves free from the rule of Brussels. On the contrary, the PM’s plan is that we would enter a protracted and humiliating “implementation period” during which we would have to accept every jot and tittle of EU law,” he observed.

“It is not an implementation period; there is nothing to implement. It is really a negotiating period, which already promises to be uniquely difficult because the Prime Minister has brilliantly decided to give up our most important negotiating capital – the £39 billion – in advance.”

Johnson revealed that there are “plenty of people round the Cabinet table” who do not want a clean Brexit, either with a deal or without one, and would be quite happy to remain “locked in” the EU Customs Union and subject to EU law.

In these circumstances, he said, and election would be folly, as the Government could not credibly present a future vision for the country.

“Perhaps there is no plan for an election; perhaps it is just a scare tactic designed to get MPs to vote for the PM’s appalling deal,” he concluded.

“But if someone in Tory HQ genuinely thinks it would be a good idea, they should be despatched on secondment to Venezuela or Zimbabwe or somewhere they can do less damage.”

Despite what some have identified as his propensity to dither at key moments, the Uxbridge MP remains the clear favourite among party members to succeed Mrs May as party leader, with more than double the support of his closest rival, David Davis protege Dominic Raab, new polling shows.

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