How Theresa May brokered peace deal with Boris Johnson amid resignation fears

How Theresa May brokered peace deal with Boris Johnson amid resignation fears

IT speaks volumes that Theresa May's meet and greet with President Donald Trump at the United Nations was probably more straightforward, and less stressful, than her awkward meeting with Boris Johnson following a turbulent 96 hours since the Foreign Secretary broke ranks over Brexit.

Theresa May has called a special cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss the final draft of her speech on Brexit in Florence the following day and to seek their approval for it.

Reports say a rift in the Cabinet centres around the approach to Brexit, with ministers such as Chancellor Philip Hammond favouring Swiss-style payments for continued participation in the single market, while others, including Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, are believed to prefer a deal involving a free-trade agreement similar to the one between the European Union and Canada.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Johnson dismissed suggestions he could quit the Cabinet in protest if Mrs May offers too many concessions to the EU.

Asked by reporters in NY, where is he attending the UN General Assembly, whether he would resign if Mrs May's speech did not endorse his approach, he replied: "No".

He said: 'We are working together, that is the key thing, to make sure that Britain can take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit'.

The prime minister and Mr Johnson are due at the United Nations in NY.

Boris Johnson has insisted he will not be resigning from the cabinet over #Brexit but said he hoped the prime minister would avoid hitching the United Kingdom too closely to the European Union after its departure.

But Downing Street described as "speculation" a Financial Times claim that chief Brexit "sherpa" Olly Robbins, who moved on Monday to a role reporting direct to Mrs May, had told Germany she will offer to pay £20 billion in the period up to 2020 to cover gaps in the budget left by the UK's departure.

In the wake of Boris Johnson's article, "the approach of senior ministers to the Brexit negotiations appears to lack co-ordination", pointed out Lord Hague.

Another friend said: "He always makes a point of saying "no deal is better than a bad deal" because he thinks it will be what we have to do".

The spokesman was also unaware if Mrs May planned to hold lengthy talks with Mr Johnson on their flight home.

"We are a nest of singing birds".

Johnson said: "It is perfectly true that I had thought "res ipsa loquitur" [the matter speaks for itself], just get on and do the job, but I was conscious that people wanted me to contribute to the public debate".