Tensions rise following Johnson & Gove’s secret Brexit letter

Boris Johnson
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remains positive about Britain's future outside of Europe

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have been accused of sending Theresa May a secret letter, with instructions on how to organise Brexit.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the letter urged May to garner support among her team to back her Brexit plans.

The letter, titled: “EU Exit – Next Steps – For your and Gavin’s eyes only” stated: “Your approach is governed by sensible pragmatism. That does not in any way dilute our ambition to be a fully independent self-governing country by the time of the next election. If we are to counter those who wish to frustrate that end, there are ways of underlining your resolve.

“We are profoundly worried that in some parts of government the current preparations are not proceeding with anything like sufficient energy.

“We have heard it argued by some that we cannot start preparations on the basis of no deal because that would undermine our obligation of ‘sincere cooperation’ with the EU. If taken seriously, that would leave us over a barrel in 2021.

“We all want you to push your agenda forward with confidence and have your government articulate the following.”

Tensions remain high within May’s government. Reports show that 40 conservative party members have joined a team who are calling for the Prime Minister to resign. 48 are required for a leadership challenge, in which May could be forced to resign from Parliament with another Conservative leader replacing her.

Downing Street has not responded to questions regarding the letter but a spokesperson said: “ It is common – and indeed expected – practice under governments of all colours for cabinet ministers to offer advice and views to the PM.”

Pressure surrounding the urgency of Brexit is high. Last week, Barnier gave the UK a two-week deadline for greater clarity over the divorce deal. Last week that he said the failure of the divorce talks was not his preferred option.