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Boris Johnson 'won't resign' over Brexit intervention fallout, Foreign Secretary insists

Boris Johnson 'won't resign' over Brexit intervention fallout, Foreign Secretary insists

The five-day soap opera in NY involving U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and her top diplomat has come to a close with Boris Johnson joining his boss on her flight back to London.

It was reported by the Telegraph, that Johnson could even resign before the weekend if May signalled that she will sign the United Kingdom up for paying access to the single market permanently, in an arrangement similar to remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to offer €20bn to the European Union to cover costs of exiting the bloc when she delivers a speech in Florence later this week.

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

That will come at a one-off cabinet meeting 24 hours earlier, giving Mr Johnson - and other Brexit rebels - a platform to try to water down concessions to Brussels.

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.

Mr Johnson is due to meet with the Prime Minister for the first time since the article's publication at the United Nations General Assembly.

Asked if the Foreign Secretary had threatened to resign in the days after his article was published in the Daily Telegraph, Mrs May's spokesman said: "I am certainly not aware of that, no".

Mrs May and Mr Johnson are at the United Nations General Assembly in NY, but her spokesman said they had not met since the Foreign Secretary's intervention.

The Irish politician told the Evening Standard it was apparent the Foreign Secretary is "completely out of the loop" on Mrs May's Brexit plans due to his "completely contradictory" statements.

"I think you might be barking up the wrong tree".

Asked if she was confident of getting consensus on her Brexit strategy at Thursday's meeting, May said: "Yes, the cabinet is absolutely clear about the destination we are aiming for in relation to our European negotiations".

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

The former chancellor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "in any normal circumstances" Mr Johnson would have been "sacked the day after" his article.

May, who could leave herself vulnerable to a leadership challenge if she sacked Johnson, has indicated she expects him to continue in the Cabinet.



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