Former Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson saved Mrs May’s deal in a shocking rant that saw him blast it as a way for the EU to “bully and blackmail” Britain. He told the Aberdeen Press and Journal: “There are many exquisite humiliations in the so-called ‘deal’ with the EU that parliament is being asked to endorse on Tuesday – but the essential problem can be boiled down to this: Theresa May’s deal hands the EU the indefinite power to bully and blackmail this country to get whatever it wants in the future negotiations. “And if history teaches us anything, it is that our European friends will not desist until they have worked out a way to plunder Scottish waters for their fish.” He added: “It is wretched that we have already agreed terms – in the so-called ‘backstop’ arrangements – that would keep the UK in the customs union. That means that we simply will not be able to do any serious free trade deals, because we will not control our own tariffs.”
He then went on to interrogate Mrs May’s motives and referring to the Irish backstop said that “No British PM could agree to such a break-up of the Union”.
Mr Johnson’s words came after he inflamed the Tory Brexit infighting by unveiling his own blueprint for leading the UK out of the crisis over Mrs May’s deal.
Earlier today, he accused the Prime Minister of pursuing a “sado-masochistic approach to Government” that could leave Britain “locked up in chains”.
This came at the same time Mrs May dispatched 30 ministers including Chancellor Philip Hammond and Health Secretary Matt Hancock around the country to try to sell her deal to voters in the hope of putting pressure on MPs.
According to ministerial sources, the move signalled that the Government was ready to back a backbench amendment to the motion on the Prime Minister’s deal that would seek to limit the controversial “backstop” border mechanism to a maximum of a year.
Next week Mrs May will take her proposal to the House of Commons for a crunch vote by Parliament. The deal will see the UK shackled to the EU customs union and single market.