May's Brexit plans like wrapping 'suicide vest' around UK, says Johnson

LONDON (Reuters) – Former British foreign minister Boris Johnson has said Prime Minister Theresa May “wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator” to the European Union with her Brexit plans, in comments that drew strong criticism. In a column in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson described May’s so-called Chequers plan to leave the EU as “a humiliation” that opens “ourselves to perpetual political blackmail”. Johnson is the bookmakers’ favorite to succeed May and is seen as someone who would press for a clean break from the EU after being the figurehead of the “Leave” campaign in 2016. “We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to (EU chief negotiator) Michel Barnier,” Johnson wrote. His words – particularly the reference to a suicide vest – drew condemnation from members of the governing Conservative Party on both sides of the deeply divisive Brexit debate. Alan Duncan, a minister at the Foreign Office, saying it marked “one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics”. “For Boris to say that the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much,” he said on Twitter. “I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later.” Johnson resigned as foreign secretary over the Chequers plan, named after May’s country residence where the government agreed her Brexit proposals in July. He argued that the plan, under which Britain would keep close trade ties with the EU, meant agreeing to the bloc’s rules with no say. “It means we are a vassal state,” he said in the column. Since stepping down Johnson has written several newspaper columns been urging Conservatives to put pressure on May to “chuck” the proposals at the party’s conference later this month. 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(Reuters) – Former British foreign minister Boris Johnson has said Prime Minister Theresa May “wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator” to the European Union with her Brexit plans, in comments that drew strong criticism.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eIn a column in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson described Mayu0027s so-called Chequers plan to leave the EU as “a humiliation” that opens “ourselves to perpetual political blackmail”.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eJohnson is the bookmakersu0027 favorite to succeed May and is seen as someone who would press for a clean break from the EU after being the figurehead of the “Leave” campaign in 2016.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to (EU chief negotiator) Michel Barnier,” Johnson wrote.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eHis words – particularly the reference to a suicide vest – drew condemnation from members of the governing Conservative Party on both sides of the deeply divisive Brexit debate.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eAlan Duncan, a minister at the Foreign Office, saying it marked “one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics”.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”For Boris to say that the PMu0027s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much,” he said on Twitter.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”Iu0027m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isnu0027t now, I will make sure it is later.”u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eJohnson resigned as foreign secretary over the Chequers plan, named after Mayu0027s country residence where the government agreed her Brexit proposals in July. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eHe argued that the plan, under which Britain would keep close trade ties with the EU, meant agreeing to the blocu0027s rules with no say. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”It means we are a vassal state,” he said in the column.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eSince stepping down Johnson has written several newspaper columns been urging Conservatives to put pressure on May to “chuck” the proposals at the partyu0027s conference later this month.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eJohnsonu0027s column appeared a day after he and his wife Marina Wheeler announced they had separated and planned to divorce. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003c/pu003en”,”attribution”:{“type”:”default”,”content”:”Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky”},”images”:[{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302462425u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8808M”,”title”:”FILE PHOTO: Britainu0027s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech on Brexit at the Policy Exchange in central London”,”caption”:”FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Britainu0027s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech on Brexit at the Policy Exchange in central London, Britain, February 14, 2018. 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