Boris Johnson has attacked Theresa May’s “miserable” Brexit plan as a “democratic disaster”.
In his resignation speech in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, the former foreign secretary told MPs it was “not too late to save Brexit”.
Johnson, who quit the government earlier this month, said “a fog of self-doubt has descended” over the UK government approach to negotiations with the EU as it “dithered”.
Flanked by eurosceptic Tory MPs, including former Brexit Secretary David Davis, Johnson stopped short of demanding May quit as prime minister.
But he accused her of failing to deliver the Brexit plan promised in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017 and of staging a “stealthy retreat”.
May did not remain in the Commons chamber to listen to Johnson’s speech.
Johnson said the agreement reached by the Cabinet at Chequers would make the UK “rule takers”, damaging its ability to strike new international trade deals.
“We are volunteering for economic vassalage,” he said.
“Let’s explicitly aim once again for the glorious vision of Lancaster House. A strong independent self-governing Britain that is genuinely open to the world. Not the miserable permanent limbo of Chequers.”
Johnson added: “It is not too late to save Brexit. We have time in these negotiations. We have changed tack once and we can change again.”
May was criticised by her own side at PMQs earlier today, with Brexiteer backbencher Andrea Jenkyns asking pointedly “at what point it was decided that Brexit means Remain”.
The prime minister insisted at “absolutely no point” had that happened because “Brexit continues to mean Brexit”.
Jeremy Corbyn claimed the government has “sunk into a mire of chaos and division”.
May will try to rally her deeply divided Parliamentary party as she addresses a meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers in the evening.