Boris Johnson opens up about quitting UK cabinet over Brexit
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has announced that he will not resign from the cabinet over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategies, putting an end to earlier speculations that he would step down over the issue following rifts with the premier.
In an interview with The Guardian on Tuesday, Johnson said it was about time British people heard what he had to say on the country’s exit from the European Union, playing down reports that he might quit this weekend.
“I am mystified by all this stuff,” Johnson said. “Not me, guv. I don’t know where it is coming from, honestly. It feels to me like an attempt to keep the great snore-athon story about my article running. I think that is what is going on.”
“I am loving this job. It is one of the greatest jobs in the world. It is a fantastic privilege,” he noted.
In a separate interview with Sky News in New York, Johnson also denied considering resignation when he was asked by reporters if he planned to step down.
“No … of course not, we’re going to deliver a fantastic Brexit,” he said. “We’re working together, and the key thing is to make sure Britain can take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit provides.”
The British foreign secretary made the remarks after rumors spread that he was planning to resign because he “could not live with” May’s soft approach to Brexit, which involved paying billions of pounds to the EU after the transition period to secure permanent access to the single market.
Earlier this week, Johnson wrote a 4,000-word article and offered his 10-point plan for Britain’s successful exit from the EU, calling on London to make a clean break with Brussels after Brexit.
He said Brexit would put the Britons’ destiny back into their own hands, allowing them to make the UK the most “glorious” country on in the world.
Johnson noted that if Britain continued its membership in the single market and customs union, the country would make a “complete mockery” of last year’s referendum result.
Nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the EU referendum in June last year. The United Kingdom formally triggered the Brexit process on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned last week that Britain would regret its decision to leave the EU, saying that the bloc would “move on” after the UK’s departure.
EU officials have been complaining that the British side has been weaseling out of its obligations, failing to address three key points in previous Brexit talks.
The three main points highlighted by Brussels negotiators include: EU citizen rights, Northern Ireland’s border and the divorce bill.