Boris Johnson dismisses demands to give Parliament a veto over Brexit


He spoke amid plots by pro-Remain MPs to secure the right for the Commons to vote at key stages of the Brexit process.

Scottish National Party MP Alex Salmond challenged Brexit campaigner Mr Johnson over why MPs should not get a vote.

Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson retorted: “It is completely unrealistic to expect the Government to put its negotiating position to a vote in this House before those negotiations are concluded. It has never happened before.

“I remember all sorts of negotiations… on all sorts of European treaties. They were never put to this House before those treaties were concluded.”

He insisted he and his fellow Cabinet “Brexiteers” were a “nest of singing birds” in constant contact.

“Things are working extremely well… and I have no doubt whatever that we will do a fantastic deal in the interests of the UK and the interests of a strong EU.

“We will go forward with a fantastic free trade deal in goods and services that’ll be good for this country and good for the EU.”

The Commons question time came amid reports of tensions between ministers over whether Britain should pursue a clean break “hard” Brexit or a “soft” option retaining close links to the single market.

Mr Johnson declined to answer a question referring to allegations that Philip Hammond is trying to frustrate Brexit – a claim the Chancellor’s friends dismiss – by pushing for a softer line on immigration control and single market access.

He also brushed off comments that he wrote a newspaper article arguing for Britain to stay in the EU days before announcing he would fight to leave. Mr Johnson said: “Most people will understand that the arguments have moved on and that the people have spoken overwhelmingly.

Indeed, one of the most powerful cases that could possibly have been made for Leave was to be found in the article that I wrote for Remain.

“Everybody who has read it has told me that they emerged from it feeling a profound sense of obligation to leave the EU.”

The sub-committee of the EU Exit and Trade Committee – ministers to oversee the Brexit process – has a majority of ministers who campaigned to Remain in the EU, it has been revealed.

Pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey and Remain party colleague Hilary Benn will today vie to chair the Commons’ new Brexit watchdog.