David Mundell launches attack on Boris Johnson

David Mundell launches attack on Boris Johnson

David Mundell launches attack on Boris Johnson

The minister, who described himself as a "stubborn optimist", also used his speech to call for unity in his party, which has been increasingly divided since Prime Minister Theresa May announced the "Chequers agreement" - a roadmap for the post-Brexit relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union - in July.

He rejected claims that Chequers could be changed by a future Prime Minister as a "fantasy", and even suggested could face prosecution under 14 century law for giving a foreign power jurisdiction in the UK.

She has, however, promised new proposals on a plan B - a backstop - to keep the frontier open if and until the new trade deal could be agreed with the EU.

And after a day in which Boris Johnson stole the show at the conference with his "Chuck Chequers" onslaught, the Prime Minister will attempt to re-assert her authority.

In a series of interviews on Tuesday afternoon, May tore into Johnson's Brexit vision as it would see the need for customs checks on goods crossing the UK's border with Ireland.

To cheers and applause, Mr Johnson declared: "This is not pragmatic, it is not a compromise". It is unsafe and unstable - politically and economically.

He added: "My fellow Conservatives, this is not democracy. That is not what we voted for", he said. This is not taking back control: "this is forfeiting control".

And he warned: 'If we get it wrong - if we bottle Brexit now - believe me, the people of this country will find it hard to forgive'.

"My friends, the one thing I really worry about in this critical Autumn of 2018 is that after 200 years, this oldest and most successful of all political parties should somehow lose confidence in its basic belief in freedom", Johnson said.

'And in so doing to believe in conservatism and to believe in Britain.

"Not by imitating them, not by capering insincerely on Labour turf - we won't get anywhere by metaphorically acquiring beards and string vests and allotments - but by systematically pointing out the damage they would do". And if we get it right we can have a glorious future.

Mrs May takes to the stage at the Conservative Conference in Birmingham less than 24 hours after 1,500 delegates gave a thunderous standing ovation to Boris Johnson as he branded her Brexit plans a "constitutional outrage" that would humiliate Britain.

"If we cheat the electorate, and Chequers is a cheat, we will escalate that sense of mistrust."

Conservative former Brexit secretary David Davis said of Mr Johnson's event: 'It was a good speech, nice and clear'.

Mr Johnson's demand for the PM to "chuck Chequers" has echoed around the corridors and fringe meetings at a gathering riven by profound differences over the best approach to Britain's European Union withdrawal.

Reports have stated that she now has a 'tickly cough' so it may be a disturbed speech as she tries to hold back the splutters.

"He's too volatile", said Alison Jolley, a party member from just outside Birmingham who cheered loudly for Mr. Johnson during his speech and laughed uproariously at his jokes.

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