Boris Johnson to deliver low key speech at Tory summit on Tuesday

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA
Photo: Victoria Jones/PA

Former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson will deliver a speech today, extending his harsh criticism of Prime Minister May’s Chequers Brexit plan.

Having been rejected by EU leaders last week and abandoned by hard-Brexit conservatives, Ms May’s proposal has not been well-received. Mr Johnson has proposed his own alternative, dubbed “Super Canada” for its resemblance to Canada’s current free trade deal with the EU.

Mr Johnson’s plan would mean largely unregulated trade, with zero tariffs or quotas. Additionally, in contrast to Chequers which champions sharing a common rulebook, the UK would have the freedom to impose its own regulations.

While certainly a cleaner break, the latter would result in large amounts of goods needing to be checked at the border—an impediment to trade as a whole. In doing so, a hard border with Ireland would also likely need to be established—a concession that the EU is unlikely to make.

Although Mr Johnson’s plan is unlikely to be taken seriously due to its pragmatic difficulties, it represents a clear challenge to May’s authority. Loyalty to the Prime Minister is low and any further weakening could lead Johnson to try to seize the reigns.

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