Watchdog stands by criticism of Johnson's revived £350m NHS pledge

Watchdog stands by criticism of Johnson's revived £350m NHS pledge

British lawmakers on Monday urged the government to address the status of cross-border pensions and insurance contracts after Brexit, saying time to make changes ensuring people continued to be paid was running out.

The UK's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has launched a thinly veiled leadership challenge against prime minister Theresa May, while she prepares to set out her Brexit strategy this Friday (22 September) in the Italian city of Florence.

If the Foreign Secretary is not party to talks about Britain's changing status with Europe, and the rest of the world, what is the goal of this supposed Great Office of State?

"All behind Theresa for a glorious Brexit", Johnson wrote.

Brussels has said talks on Britain's future trading relationship with the European Union can only start after the other 27 European Union governments are satisfied that "sufficient progress" has been made on the terms of the departure. May is making a major speech Friday in Florence, Italy, that is meant to help break the logjam.

The Foreign Secretary's comments drew the ire of his bosses in Downing Street, which rebuked Johnson for failing to clear the article with the PM before publishing, just a few days before May is due to give a major speech on Brexit in Florence.

Boris Johnson has renewed the claim that the United Kingdom will have 350 million pounds a week to spend on the NHS after leaving the EU.

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It is thought Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, and David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, are close to agreeing a compromise, whereby Britain pays into European Union coffers £10bn a year over a three-year transition period to access European Union markets, paving the way to a new trading and customs deal outwith the Brussels bloc.

She went on to be asked what her cabinet colleague had indulged in: "Yes, you could call it backseat driving".

Mrs Rudd insisted she was focused on "keeping people safe" when asked about her future ambitions.

In a message on Twitter, Mr Ellwood, who served under Mr Johnson at the Foreign Office until June, said: "Party discord: Think many would agree we are not witnessing our finest hour, at a testing time when poise, goal and unity are called for".

In a letter sent in response to the foreign secretary's restating of the controversial statement that there was £350m a week that could be spent on the NHS, Mr Norgrove said he was "surprised and disappointed" to see the claim repeated.

After the watchdog published its criticism, a spokesman for Mr Johnson said: "Boris has spoken to Norgrove and he has made clear that he was complaining about the headlines and not Boris' piece and, in fact, admitted that Boris' wording in the piece was absolutely fine".

A government partnership paper will outline the terms of a new legal agreement for Britain on criminal justice, intelligence and law enforcement. Such a deal would allow Britain to remain a member of the EU police body Europol and keep use of the European Arrest Warrant, which allows for the quick extradition of suspects.

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