Boris Johnson suggested the talks could take less than the two years article 50 allows [Image: Andrew Kelly/Reuters].

Boris Johnson suggested the talks could take less than the two years article 50 allows [Image: Andrew Kelly/Reuters].

Britain is more worried about Mary Berry leaving Bake Off than the UK leaving the EU – at least the former seems to be likely to happen in real life.

Boris Johnson chose the day Ms Berry announced her decision to quit the hugely popular cookery programme – which has roughly the same number of viewers as there are people who voted to quit the EU – to sneak out his beliefs about the Brexit process.

Fortunately a few people were paying attention – including, it seems, Theresa May – and their reactions have been priceless.

“Err Has he actually cleared that with Theresa – you know – his Boss – the PM ?” asked Clare Hepworth OBE on Twitter. “ ‘Cos he does tend to shoot from the hip !”

Apparently not. Here‘s the Financial Times:

“Boris Johnson has been rapped over the knuckles by Downing Street for claiming that Britain will launch its EU exit negotiations “by the early part of next year” and that Brexit could be completed within two years.

“The foreign secretary was immediately rebuffed by Theresa May, who has ordered her ministers not to engage in a “running commentary” on Britain’s negotiating strategy or the timing of Brexit talks.

“Downing Street’s frustration was evident. ‘The government’s position is clear. The prime minister has said she will not trigger Article 50 before the end of the year. Ultimately it’s her decision.

“’She has said she will deliver on the Brexit vote and she won’t kick it into the long grass, but she will do it when she considers she can secure the best deal for Britain.’”

Right, that’s three Brexit-connected ministers who have fouled up in recent weeks. When shall we expect the sackings to start?

Except, of course, Theresa May is far too weak for that. She’ll stick to press releases expressing her “frustration”.

The UK government is likely to trigger article 50 and begin the process of the country’s formal departure from the European Union early next year, Boris Johnson has said.

In a rare hint of the government’s concrete plans for Brexit, the foreign secretary told Sky News that ministers would also set out the principles for departure at that time.

The government was “talking to our European friends and partners now in the expectation that by the early part of next year you will see an article 50 letter”, Johnson said from New York, where he has been at the United Nations.

“We will invoke that, and in that letter I’m sure we will be setting out some parameters for how we propose to take this forward – principles.”

Article 50 sets a two-year limit for departure to be finalised, but Johnson suggested the process might take less time. “You invoke article 50 in the early part of next year, you have two years to pull it off. I don’t actually think we will necessarily need to spend a full two years. But let’s see how we go.”

Source: Boris Johnson says UK aims to trigger Brexit process in early 2017 | Politics | The Guardian

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