Boris Johnson has got a new Brexit deal. It’s true that the Prime Minister has some way to go if he is to get the agreement over the line, not least in trying to persuade the DUP to back it. But Mr S remembers a time not too long ago when plenty were claiming the PM wouldn’t – and didn’t even want to – get this far. Here are six MPs who claimed Boris Johnson was never serious about reaching a new agreement with the EU:
The former chancellor claimed last month that Boris Johnson was surrounded by ‘radicals’ who had no intention of doing a deal. On the eve of Tory conference, Hammond said there was ‘no evidence at all that his government has seriously pursued a deliverable deal; still less that it has been pursuing a deal that could get us out by October 31’.
It’s safe to say Rory Stewart thought it was unlikely Boris Johnson would get a deal. The former Tory MP, who is now standing as an independent candidate in the London mayoral elections, said his political career would be over if a deal made it over the line:
‘If he does get a deal through, I would not stand again. I would be the first to apologise. I would get down on bended knees in front of Boris and admit I’d been wrong’
Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will come as a shock to Ed Vaizey. The former culture minister claimed in August that the Prime Minister is ‘hell-bent on getting no deal’ and was only ‘going through the motions’ with the EU. There was ‘no chance’ of a new agreement being reached between the EU and the UK, Vaizey told the Today programme.
Amber Rudd took a parting shot at Boris Johnson last month when she stormed out of the Cabinet. The former work and pensions secretary said Boris wasn’t trying hard enough to reach an agreement. Rudd told Andrew Marr:
‘I have not seen enough work into actually trying to get a deal. When earlier in the week I asked No 10 for a summary of what the planning was actually getting a deal, I was sent a one-page summary. There is not enough work into actually getting a deal, which is not what the prime minister signed up to try to do.’
It’s the Labour leader’s job to criticise the Prime Minister, of course, but Corbyn perhaps overstepped the mark when he told the TUC conference six weeks ago that:
‘As the prime minister’s top adviser reportedly said, the negotiations are ‘a sham’. No-one can trust the word of a prime minister who is threatening to break the law to force through no-deal.’
Nicholas Soames was booted out of the Tory party for voting against the Government on Brexit. The ex-Tory MP took a parting shot at Boris Johnson, claiming that, while he thought the PM was trying, he wouldn’t reach a new agreement with the EU. He said:
‘I don’t doubt Boris wants to get a deal, but I do not believe he has the means to will the end. His demands are unreal and I cannot condone no deal.’