The Fleet Street Fox – or as we should now call her “Mrs Flapjack” – wrote these words six months ago today in TheNew European. Liam Fox has bested the Fleet Street Fox. With Johnson, Davis and Fox all still in office unscathed, her invitation is now operative…
Boris addressing ambassadors on the record tonight:
“We export cake to France, boomerangs to Australia, sand to Saudi Arabia, we have managed to export Nigel Farage to America – though not in a diplomatic capacity… We are so cosmopolitan that we drink more champagne, more prosecco, buy more German cars than anyone else. And our wonderful Prime Minister actually wears lederhosen!”
Theresa May’s spokesman has issued a public slap down of Boris Johnson after he was caught on tape by the Guardian criticising Saudi Arabia. It’s a shame that the Guardian and the BBC think calling out a warmongering human rights abusing dictatorship is a “gaffe“. Now Downing Street has shot him down for telling the truth: “Those are the Foreign Secretary’s views. They’re not the government’s views”. Which is about a brutal a dressing down as a Number 10 spokesman can give. As Iain Martin points out, criticising the Saudis for fighting brutal proxy wars should not be remotely controversial. Boris was never likely to go native like Hammond did at the FCO, fair play to him for telling the truth even if Theresa May wants to butter up the world’s wrong uns. The government castigated Corbyn for his Castro guff. Slapping down Boris today is the height of hypocrisy from Number 10…
When Phil Hammond was Foreign Secretary, the Foreign Office did not exactly embrace the festive spirit. Indeed, a Christmas tree historically erected in the quad outside the FCO was canned by the scrooges in the last Labour government. Under Boris, Guido is happy to report that the Yuletide festivities have returned. This morning a Christmas tree was unveiled to the delight of merry mandarins, a gift from the Norwegian foreign minister Borge Brende, as children from the Norwegian school in London sang carols. BoJo ho ho!
A big barney on Sky News as Dermot Murnaghan accuses Boris of lying over his free movement comments. Boris hits back by telling Sky their story was
“cooked up… I’m not entirely convinced your reporter talked to those ambassadors… Your story was a dud, it was wrong, it was a load of old baloney… [the journalist] was offered something that was completely untrue, it was nonsense… I’m glad that it’s been corrected.”
Boris made clear on Marr that he is against “large” payments to the EU in exchange for single market access, stressing the need to take back control of the money we send to Brussels. This will be framed as a split between Boris/Fox on one side and May/Hammond/Davis on the other. Brexiteers should remain calm though. It’s sensible to consider all options for free trade with the EU – Brexit always likely meant we could still pay in on some aspects – just as it’s sensible to oppose sending Brussels exorbitant sums…
Italy’s ambassador to London Pasquale Terracciano has gone on the record to the Sunday Telegraph to confirm Boris did not back freedom of movement, contrary to the Sky News report that caused such a stir this week. Terracciano reveals:
“We do not normally comment on discussion we have at EU Ambassadors’ level with members of Government. But since this particular issue has become focus of press speculations, I will tell you that Boris Johnson chose not to speak about the principle of freedom of movement within the EU. He said instead that he had always been favourable in principle to immigration but also added that immigration needed to be controlled.”
So what Boris said was completely consistent with the 10 times he opposed freedom of movement posted by Guido on Thursday. A second ambassador confirms to the Sunday Telegraph:
“My recollection was that he didn’t say anything that was different [from his public stance]. I don’t think I even made any particular note of what he said on that issue because it was simply in line with what I already knew to be Government policy.”
Who’d have thought those four anonymous ambassadors briefing against Boris to friendly Sky News were up to no good? And surely the BBC will give this new development equal prominence too. Awkward one for tonight’s Sky paper review…
Mischievous anonymous EU ambassadors have briefed Sky News that Boris has privately said he supports free movement. Boris strongly denies this and challenges them to prove he said it. Is this another example of the fake news epidemic? Boris has been very clear about his views on free movement…
On November 15 Boris said it was a “myth,” “nonsense” and “bollocks” to say free movement is a founding principles of the EU.
On September 25 Boris said it was “complete baloney” to link free movement with the single market.
On June 26 Boris said people had voted for “control” over immigration.
Boris pledges a tough new Australian-style immigration system after Brexit on June 1.
There is no mention of free movement in Boris’ pro-Remain article.
In his pro-Leave article he bemoaned the “lack of control” on immigration.
In December 2015 Boris called for an opt-out of free movement rules.
In his 2015 conference speech, Boris said: “it should be up to this parliament and this country – not Jean Claude Juncker – to decide if too many people are coming here”.
In October 2014 Boris called for quotas of EU migrants.
In January 2014 Boris said he was pro-migration but had a “problem” with free movement.
Unusually for him, Boris has always been consistent on free movement, even well before the referendum. He is pro the benefits of migration but wants control of borders decided by Westminster. Why is that so hard for Remainers to understand?
“I would respectfully say to my beloved European friends and colleagues that it’s time that we snapped out of the general doom and gloom about the result of this election and collective ‘whinge-o-rama’ that seems to be going on in some places.”
Boris Johnson has lamented the fact that London will become “a city of planes” if the plans for a new runway at Heathrow Airport go ahead. Boris has previously said that he would lie in front of the bulldozers to prevent it getting built and that “a third runway is undeliverable”. Today he says “the day when the bulldozers appear is a long way off, if indeed they ever materialise.”Will be interesting if he is Prime Minister at the time the runway gets built…
Remainers have jumped on the Sunday Times story about the famous unpublished Boris article making the case for Remain. Alastair Campbell says BoJo has been “exposed as a two-faced lying Charlatan”. The LibDems accuse him of “duplicity“. The Guardian’s Zoe Williams says Boris “tries on opinions like clothes, discarding them as the mood and weather takes him“. Once again, these Remoaners are telling porkies.
Everyone knows Boris wrote a second pro-Remain article. What Tim Shipman reveals in his Brexit book is that Boris thought his own case for Remain made him want to “vomit“. The article was not an expression of his true beliefs, as some Remainers are dishonestly claiming. On the contrary, it helped him make up his mind to back Leave. As Shippers reveals:
Those Remainers accusing Boris of duplicity are the truly duplicitous ones…
Theresa May’s sense of humour was on display when she appointed Alan Duncan as BoJo’s deputy at the Foreign Office, he had after all just a week before described him as “Borisconi”. In comments recorded before the referendum and broadcast last night on “Brexit: A Very British Coup“ Duncan said:
“I’ve always thought that Boris’s wish was to lose by one so that he could be the heir apparent without having to have all the… you know, s-h-1-t of clearing up all the mess, that’s always been my view of Boris.”
A lot of the commentariat and political class suspected that this was his calculation.[…] Read the rest