Boris Johnson allies deny claims that he ‘secretly admitted Brexit was a mess’

·Freelance Writer
<em>Boris Johnson reportedly admitted that Brexit was a ‘mess’ (Rex)</em>
Boris Johnson reportedly admitted that Brexit was a ‘mess’ (Rex)

Friends of Boris Johnson have denied German claims that he secretly admitted Brexit was a “mess”.

German diplomats claim the Foreign Secretary appealed to senior figures in Angela Merkel’s administration to help “make a win-win out of this mess”, according to the Telegraph.

The officials say that Mr Johnson aired his concerns about the way the UK was handling Brexit negotiations in a bid to encourage the EU to take a softer approach.

However, friends of Mr Johnson have branded the claims “nonsense”.

One said: “These old claims will be rightly dismissed as nonsense by anyone sensible.

“Boris knows Brexit will be a great success and is committed to taking back control of our money, laws and borders.”

F<em>riends of the Foreign Secretary described the claims as “nonsense” (Rex)</em>
Friends of the Foreign Secretary described the claims as “nonsense” (Rex)

Theresa May is facing increasing pressure from her own party over how to approach the next stage of Brexit negotiations.

The Prime Minister will hold a crunch meeting with senior Cabinet ministers on Thursday to thrash out an agreement on how to proceed in negotiations with the European Union.

But more than 60 Conservative MPs wrote a letting warning that the UK must have full control over laws after Brexit and must not become a “rule taker”.

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Britain must not be stopped from negotiating and signing trade deals during any transition period, they said.

The letter was sent by the European Research Group (ERG), made up of Tory Eurosceptics, and was signed by 62 MPs, including former Cabinet ministers Priti Patel and Iain Duncan Smith.

It includes a number of “suggestions” for securing a successful Brexit, including “taking control” of World Trade Organisation tariff schedules that regulate trading.

<em>All the key events before and after Brexit Day in March 2019 (PA)</em>
All the key events before and after Brexit Day in March 2019 (PA)
<em>Theresa May is facing pressure from Tory MPs over how to handle the next stage of Brexit negotiations (Rex)</em>
Theresa May is facing pressure from Tory MPs over how to handle the next stage of Brexit negotiations (Rex)

The letter adds: “The UK must be free to start its own trade negotiations immediately.

“The UK should negotiate as an equal partner. Ministers may not want or be able to accept the EU’s timing and mandates as fixed, and should be able to set out alternative terms including, for example, building an agreement based on our World Trade Organisation membership instead.

“Any ‘implementation period’ should be based on WTO principles. Any implementation period must not restrain the UK from negotiating or signing other trade agreements.”

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Labour said the letter exposed the “deep divisions” in the Conservative Party.

Paul Blomfield, shadow Brexit minister, said: “It is clearer than ever that Theresa May cannot deliver the Brexit deal Britain needs.

“She is too weak to face down the fanatics in her own party and to deliver a final deal that protects jobs and the economy.”

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