The Foreign Secretary laid out his vision for a liberal Brexit in an eagerly anticipated speech yesterday, kicking off what is due to be a series of Government interventions to lay out the ‘road to Brexit’.
But Mr Johnson was condemned for a lack of detail on how Brexit would actually be delivered.
In an upbeat speech, Mr Johnson called on Leave and Remain supporters to unite behind the Brexit mission and denied it was a ‘giant V-sign from the cliffs of Dover’.
Boris Johnson (pictured making yesterday in Westminster) warned cancelling Brexit would be a ‘disastrous mistake’ but acknowledged for the first time that anger at the result was ‘hardening’
Tory rebel Anna Soubry led criticism of Mr Johnson, branding him ‘pitiful’ and a poor foreign secretary
Tory rebel Anna Soubry led criticism of Mr Johnson.
She told Channel 4 News: ‘I’m afraid to say that Boris has confirmed my very worst fears about him. I don’t think he’s a very good Foreign Secretary.
‘It was actually a pitiful speech and I think a lot of people found it really rather embarrassing.’
An unnamed minister told Politico there was ‘nothing’ in the speech.
They said: ‘Absolutely no detail. He is completely in denial about the complexity of the exit and the negative economic and political consequences.
‘It is bluster, which will cost the country dear. The tragedy is that by the time anybody realises it and he has been proved wrong the real cost will have set in and we will have left the EU. In five years time he will be dead meat.’
Despite the criticism Tory darling Jacob Rees-Mogg – the leader of Brexiteer backbench Conservatives – yesterday said the speech was ‘reassuring’ and a ‘classic of Boris oratory’.
Following his speech, Mr Johnson dodged questions over whether he would resign if the Cabinet fails to fully endorse his vision of a buccaneering, free trade Brexit.
He also admitted to detecting a ‘harden