Brexit: Boris Johnson repeats Leave's £350m for NHS figure

Brexit: Boris Johnson repeats Leave's £350m for NHS figure

Boris Johnson has insisted he is "all behind Theresa for a glorious Brexit" after setting out a 4,000 word vision of Britain's future outside the European Union that has been viewed as a challenge to her leadership.

The manifesto - suggesting Brexit could make Britain the most successful country in the world - was seen in Whitehall as a power play to undermine Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the Conservative party conference.

Pressed on Mr Johnson's actions, she replied: 'You could call it backseat driving'.

The Telegraph reported that Whitehall sources had said neither the Prime Minister nor the Chancellor were aware of Mr Johnson's article prior to its publication.

"Both the United Kingdom and the EU would benefit from ensuring that no operational gaps are created" by Brexit, the statement from the Department for Exiting the European Union in London said.

One senior Conservative MP however told The Independent that Johnson was "daring May to sack him" and attempting "to prove his credentials to the European Research Group in the party for an eventual leadership bid".

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He appeared to be pressing Mrs May when he said: "We would not expect to pay for access to their markets any more than they would expect to pay for access to ours".

"This country will succeed in our new national enterprise, and will succeed mightily, " he said, dismissing any suggestion that Brexit will be reversed. "I know what an irrepressible enthusiast (Johnson) is about Brexit, and what he's done is set it out there, I think it's absolutely fine, I would expect nothing less from Boris", Rudd said on the BBC's Andrew Marr show. "I don't want him managing the Brexit process, what we've got is Theresa May managing that process, she's driving the vehicle and I'm going to make sure we help her do that".

"And yes - once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week. All behind Theresa for a glorious Brexit".

Vote Leave emblazoned the figure on its campaign bus and said the money could be used to fund extra spending on public services such as the NHS.

Meanwhile, 120 firms have signed a letter to Brexit Secretary David Davis and Brussels' lead negotiator Michel Barnier warning that jobs could be lost unless progress is made on a transitional deal between Britain and the bloc. We approach negotiations on our future special partnership with the European Union as an opportunity to build on our existing achievements.

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