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Brexit speech: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out resignation – politics live

Chuka Umunna, Labour MP and leading supporter of Open Britain has dubbed the foreign secretary’s speech “an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy”.

He added:


His vision of Brexit may be many things, but it is not liberal.

His plan would see Britain sever trade ties with our largest trading partner, weaken protections for workers, consumers and the environment, and jeopardise the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland, a subject he didn’t even bother to mention.

The scaremongering, mistruths, lack of detail and utter disregard for the economic realities of Brexit were an alarming throwback to the referendum campaign. More than 18 months since the referendum, this was simply more of the same project fantasy.

He lectures others about betrayal, yet he is unrepentant about the lies he has peddled, be it on how Brexit will deliver £350m extra a week for the NHS, the ridiculous claim that Turkey was joining the European Union, or the assertion that Britain would immediately start negotiating new trade deals with countries around the world when there have been none.

Senior Tory MP Sarah Wollaston seems underwhelmed by Johnson’s speech.

Sarah Wollaston MP
(@sarahwollaston)

#Boris presenting an optimistic vision of global Britain. I hope he is right. But his speech did not address any of the serious practical difficulties that will affect real peoples lives with a hard #Brexit

February 14, 2018

Sarah Wollaston MP
(@sarahwollaston)

I’m not sure you reach out to constituents who come to visit you in a surgery by humiliating & belittling them in a major speech. Nor will global Britain be advanced by a vision of exporting stag parties or innuendo about visitors to Thailand.

February 14, 2018

Sarah Wollaston MP
(@sarahwollaston)

Clear message from #Boris speech that Govt set on regulatory divergence, leaving CU & SM. Now we urgently need a serious speech that addresses the reality of the practical issues, timescales & contingency planning including Irish border. Time for relentless #OptimismBias is over

February 14, 2018

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European commission, said it was “total nonsense” to claim that he wanted to build a European superstate. Some in the British political establishment were “pretending that I am a stupid stubborn federalist” he said when asked to respond to the Johnson speech.


I am strictly against a European superstate. We are not the United States of America, we are the European Union … the European Union cannot be built against European nations.
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