BORIS Johnson backs Theresa May’s Brexit plan “100%” despite claims he could welcome an easing up on the Prime Minister’s “red lines” for negotiations, a source close to the Foreign Secretary has said.
It comes after Brexit Secretary David Davis’s former chief of staff James Chapman claimed Mrs May’s insistence on leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had “hamstrung” his ex-boss in negotiations.
Mr Chapman also claimed the likes of Mr Davis and Mr Johnson could welcome an easing of the PM’s Brexit demands, including on leaving the ECJ and Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community), and potentially on immigration.
But a source close to Mr Johnson said he fully supports the Brexit vision Mrs May set out in her Lancaster House speech in January, including leaving the ECJ, single market and customs union.
The Foreign Secretary also wants “managed immigration”, while being a supporter of Britain being an “open and diverse country”.
It came as a Number 10 source played down suggestions Mrs May is going to walk out of Brexit talks in September in a staged show of defiance over EU demands for a “divorce bill” of tens of billions of pounds.
The Sunday Telegraph reported a senior Downing Street figure, among the raft of the PM’s advisers who have recently left the Government, had briefed industry and City bosses about the plan in an effort to limit the backlash from financial markets.
But a Number 10 source said: “This suggestion has no part in our plans.”