May v Johnson: One may be forced to resign – but who will it be?

[Composite: Evolve Politics.]

According to some, Boris Johnson has threatened to resign if Theresa May does not accept his demand about Brexit, or if she adopts what some are calling a ‘Swiss’ Brexit.

Others seem to think that Mrs May could be the one who ends up out on her ear, after Mr Johnson told an interviewer who asked whether he was prepared to resign if he doesn’t get what he wants, “I think you may be slightly barking up the wrong tree here.”

The situation is therefore as clear as mud – or as clear as Mr Johnson’s conversation usually makes it.

Disapproval of Mr Johnson’s Telegraph article, in which he laid out his ideas for Brexit, continues to rattle around the media.

His claim that the government would “take control” of £350 million of public spending per week has now been put down by Paul Johnson of the influential Institute of Fiscal Studies:

It says: “The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts the outlook for the UK economy and the public finances; these forecasts have been adopted by the chancellor as the government’s own. They contain an allowance of almost £250 million per week – not £350 million – for funding that could in principle go to the NHS rather than the EU. But this would involve no state support for any other activities, such as subsidies for agriculture, that are at present funded in the UK by the EU.

“The bigger picture is that the forecast health of the public finances was downgraded by £15 billion per year – or almost £300 million per week – as a direct result of the Brexit vote. Not only will we not regain control of £350 million weekly as a result of Brexit, we are likely to make a net fiscal loss from it.”

“Sounding off personally in this way is totally unhelpful and he shouldn’t exploit the fact that [Theresa May] hasn’t got a majority in parliament,” former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke said on Tuesday. “And he knows perfectly well that, normally, a foreign secretary would be sacked instantly for doing that.”

Tory Darling (but hated by everyone else) Jacob Rees-Mogg, on the other hand, reckoned Mr Johnson should be knighted for his intervention: “‘What Boris Johnson has done is give the right approach to Brexit, emphasise the positivity of it, and he should certainly be given knighthood not sacked.’”

Mr Johnson himself, ambushed by reporters in a hotel lobby, denied he was going to quit, according to the Mirror: “Mr Johnson, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, replied simply: ‘No.’

“But despite his protestations, the pair are not thought to have met up or even since his latest EU intervention – even though … the PM and Foreign Secretary [are] staying in the same hotel in the Big Apple.”

Meanwhile, confusion still reigns over what Brexit actually means for the UK:


This is the best summary, though:

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