In a dramatic development, the Foreign Secretary Borin Johnson has broken ranks and the Cabinet’s ‘collective responsibility’ to brand Theresa May’s Brexit sell-out a ‘big turd’. Mr Johnson also expressed doubt as to whether the PM can sell the proposals to a sceptical nation:
“Anyone defending the proposal we have just agreed will find it like trying to polish a turd. Luckily, we have some expert turd-polishers in this government.”
He described the 12-hour marathon at Chequers as a “tough day” for a Brexiteer. The Sun report quotes an insider at the talks as saying that the resistance of Cabinet Brexiteers “fizzled out” especially when Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, backed the PM.
Mr Johnson reportedly argued that being a rule-taker from the EU with no representation would reduce Britain to a ‘vassal state’:
“We’ve been blaming many of our problems over the past 30 years on EU-imposed legislation. We are now saying we need to keep all these regulations as they are vital to our economic health.”
All eyes will now be on what happens next. Collective responsibility, the doctrine by which Cabinet members are publicly obliged to defend the PM’s line, was said by Mrs May to have been reestablished. However, this leak is clearly a breach of that particular Chinese wall. Whether it will embolden other critics of the PM or even prompt resignations and/or dismissals is currently a matter of speculation but it is clearly a case now of ‘watch this space’.