This morning, Boris Johnson sprinkled salt on the wounds of the divisions of the Tory Party after calling the Brexit blueprint of Theresa May as “entirely preposterous” and “deranged.”
In comments that will likely fuel further speculation regarding his leadership ambitions, Johnson widened the dispute between himself and the Prime Minister by stating: “Unlike the Prime Minister, I campaigned for Brexit.”
A part of the Chequers plan of Downing Street is to have the customs officials collect various tariffs on products that will depend on whether their destination is the European Union or the United Kingdom. Johnson said that it would likely cause “economic and political damage to the UK…It surrenders control.”
He continued: “The idea that we could ask customs officers in Dubrovnik and Santander to charge British-only tariffs is deranged, and nobody thinks it can work.”
The remarks were Johnson’s first to a newspaper since stepping down as the UK foreign secretary last July. It comes as May prepared to reveal her own agenda at the Conservative party conference this week in an attempt to shore up her position following months of political infighting.
Among the new proposals of May is a levy to clamp down on foreigners acquiring homes and plans for a national festival in 2022.
Posed with the comments of Johnson on the BBC earlier today, May maintained that she was acting in “the national interest.”
She stated: “I believe that the plan that we have put forward is a plan that is in the national interest…This is a plan which ensures we deliver on the vote of the British people.”
The leading Brexiteer also invited fierce criticism from his colleagues in the party after urging for the construction of a 25-mile bridge to Ireland to send a message that ministers would still “believe in Britain.”
David Davis, a fellow Eurosceptic, said that the idea made for ‘good headlines but not good policies.’
On Twitter, Sajid Javid joked: “Flight from Birmingham to Belfast delayed. Wish there was a bridge. Wait…”
One of the more fiery replies came from Digby Jones. Talking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Lord Digby, the former director of the Confederation of British Industry, said that the recent comments of Johnson regarding business leaders were deeply offensive.
Theresa May also applauded the remarks of the peer, which included calling the former UK foreign secretary an “irrelevance.”