European Union commissioner says Boris Johnson 'completely out of the loop' on Brexit

Posted September 21, 2017

Theresa May expects Boris Johnson to remain in her Cabinet, with the Prime Minister insisting the Foreign Secretary is "doing good work".

At the heart of their current differences is whether Mrs May will sanction paying the European Union for continued access to its single market for goods and services either for a temporary period after Brexit occurs in March 2019 or perhaps even in the long-term.

May has called a cabinet meeting for Thursday where she will ask ministers for approval of her speech before delivering it Friday.

Any hint of such would leave Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson no choice but to resign, according to the report.

Phil Hogan, the EU's agricultural commissioner, also warned that Britain must be less "vague" on the question of the Irish border if negotiations are to go well.

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Billed as the PM's most important update to the Government's position since her Lancaster House address in January, the Florence speech is thought likely to include an attempt to break the deadlock over the UK's financial settlement.

The announcement of the meeting comes as the Foreign Secretary denied reports that he about to resign, telling reporters in New York: "Of course not".

"She will talk about the future relationship going forward, as well as the progress on the talks so far", he said.

This option similar to the arrangements adopted by Switzerland is known by its critics as the "EEA-lite", but would be a way of preserving the benefits of the single market.

"We're working together, and the key thing is to make sure Britain can take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit provides".

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For example, if somebody knew about the Russian operation and helped it succeed, they could also be criminally liable", he said. They suggested, he now believes he may be able to obtain enough evidence to charge specific foreign entities with a crime.

Asked if she had "got her mojo back", May said: "I'm doing what I always do, which is getting on with the job and, you know what, I think that's what the British people expect their prime minister to do".

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Johnson dismissed suggestions he could quit the Cabinet in protest if Mrs May offers too many concessions to the EU.

Mr Hogan, an Irish politician who is the EU's agriculture commissioner, said in an interview with the Evening Standard, "clearly, he [Mr Johnson] is not directly involved in the negotiations on behalf of the British Government with the European Union".

However veteran Tory Ken Clarke this morning said the fact Johnson had not been fired showed how weak May was.

The Johnson affair, has drawn flak from some Cabinet colleagues with one accusing the foreign secretary of an unhelpful move that placed "personal ambition ahead before the interests of the country".

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