Speech: Uniting for a Great Brexit: Foreign Secretary’s speech

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details 14.02.18
Publication Date 14/02/2018
Content Type


As Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom moved to Phase 2 (discussing the implementation phase and the future nature of the long-term relationship) in February 2018, the governing Conservative Party in the United Kingdom seemed increasingly riven by division between those arguing for a clear break (Hard Brexit) with the EU and those arguing for the UK to maintain a mutually beneficial close relationship with the EU (Soft Brexit).

As part of this leading Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP, Bernard Jenkin, MP and Lord Lawson (the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson) suggested that the Civil Service were actively campaigning against a hard Brexit by leaking sensitive information concerning the likely economic impact of Brexit.

Robin Butler, a former cabinet secretary, said he believed the actions were part of a deliberate 'Brexiteer process of intimidation'.

The divisions within the Conservative Party led to a questioning of the leadership of Theresa May.

News sources quoted on the 5 February 2018 said that a Downing Street spokesman had made clear that the UK would leave the EU customs union after Brexit. However, commentators noted that this might not preclude an agreement on some form of special customs arrangements.

In response, EU lead negotiator Michel Barnier said while on a visit to London on the 5 February 2018: 'our future partnership between the UK and the EU. On that point we need also clarity about the UK's proposals for the future partnership. The only thing I can say now is that without a customs union- and being outside the Single Market - barriers to trade and goods and services are unavoidable. The time has come to make a choice'.

News sources over the weekend of 10-11 February 2018 indicated that Downing Street had made it clear that the Prime Minister and senior ministers would make a series of six Road to Brexit speeches over the coming days to try and clarify what it wanted from the EU.

The speeches were planned for:

+ 14.02.18: Boris Johnson (Foreign Secretary)
+ 17.02.18: Theresa May (Prime Minister) at the Munich Security Conference.
+ 20.02.18: David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
+ 20.02.18: Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade)

Theresa May would give a second speech on a yet unfixed date as would David Lidington. Commentators noted that Amber Rudd and Philip Hammond, seen as more pro-EU ministes were not part of this list.Report and analysis of a speech by United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Uniting for a Great Brexit given on the 14 February 2018 in London. In the speech Mr Johnson set out the path for an outward-facing, liberal and global Britain following the UK's exit from the EU.

The speech was the first in a series of Road to Brexit to be given over the following days by senior UK ministers, including the Prime Minister Theresa May, on Brexit-related themes.

Source Link https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/foreign-secretary-speech-uniting-for-a-great-brexit
Related Links
BBC News, 14.02.18: Jean-Claude Juncker: EU superstate claims are nonsense http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43058087
BBC News, 14.02.18: Boris Johnson: Let's unite around Brexit vision http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43045553
Politico, 14.02.18: Boris Johnson: ‘Intolerable’ for UK not to take back lawmaking https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-intolerable-for-uk-not-to-take-back-lawmaking/
The Guardian, 14.02.18: Boris Johnson urges remainers to recognise benefits of leaving EU https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/14/boris-johnson-urges-remainers-recognise-benefits-leaving-eu
Conservative Home, 14.02.18: Why our European neighbours think we’re a basket case https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2018/02/why-our-european-neighbours-think-were-a-basket-case.html
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union http://www.europeansources.info/record/brexit-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union/
EurActiv, 14.02.18: Boris Johnson seeks to reassure UK Europhiles in Brexit relaunch https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/boris-johnson-seeks-to-reassure-uk-europhiles-in-brexit-relaunch/
Conservative Home, 15.02.18: Johnson – a Tigger among Eeyores – is right to restate the positive, uplifting vision of Brexit https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2018/02/daniel-hannan-johnson-a-tigger-among-eeyores-is-right-to-restate-the-positive-uplifting-vision-of-brexit.html
The Guardian, 14.02.18: [Opinion]: Boris digs himself in deeper as his usual tricks fall flat https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/14/boris-digs-himself-deeper-as-his-usual-tricks-fall-flat
In Facts, 14.02.18: There’s already liberal vision for UK, Boris. It’s inside EU https://infacts.org/theres-already-liberal-vision-uk-boris-inside-eu/
Spiegel Online International, 09.02.18: Out Out, Out: Brexiteers Are Driving Britain into a Wall http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/hardline-brexiteers-are-making-cynical-demands-in-uk-a-1192720.html
Institute for Government: Comment, 14.02.18: One Brexit speech down, five to go https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/boris-johnson-one-brexit-speech-down-five-go?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2016%20February&utm_content=Newsletter%2016%20February+CID_c42bf533b150841f935883aca4f63cc4&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Read%20One%20Brexit%20speech%20down%20five%20to%20go
UK: GOV.UK: Department for International Trade: Speech, 16.04.18: Global economic outlook: trade, growth and the Commonwealth https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/global-economic-outlook-trade-growth-and-the-commonwealth

Countries / Regions
Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=509663