POLITICS

David Davis Dismisses Claim Boris Johnson Changed UK's Brexit Policy

The Foreign Secretary has been accused of 'backseat driving' Brexit.

24/09/2017 11:08 BST
BBC

David Davis has shot down suggestions Boris Johnson’s controversial Brexit article has had any influence on Government policy.

The Foreign Secretary published a 4,000 word piece a week before Theresa May’s landmark speech in Florence on the UK’s negotiation goals.

The move was criticised by numerous Tories, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd accusing Johnson “backseat driving” the Brexit process.

According to reports, Johnson believes his article shifted May into backing a two-year transition period instead of a five-year implantation phase advocated by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond.

But speaking on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Davis poured cold water on the suggestions Johnson’s article influenced the Government’s direction on Brexit.

He said: “The policies in the Prime Minister’s speech have been coming for a long time. Some of them on transition we were designing right back at the beginning of the year.

“Some of it we have been designing months ago. I don’t think there has been any change of policy in the last few weeks.”     

Marr pressed Davis on whether he agreed with the Home Secretary’s view of “backseat driving”, the Brexit Secretary said: “My car has only got two seats... It was a very good interview, I thought.”   

Suggestions that Johnson’s article changed Government policy have also been strongly denied by those close to the Chancellor.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the claims are “total bullsh*t”.

A friend of Hammond’s told the paper: “I f***ing hate having to deal with Boris on this level.

“What a shame he feels the need to do this. He is surely not suggesting that his article altered policy which had been worked up for months?

“The Chancellor has always been in favour of a two- to three-year transition.”