, 24 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Boris Johnson on Brexit
* A key question is what 52% voted for on 23rd June 2016
* an essential source: Boris Johnson's 26th June 2016 column. First post-referendum account by Johnson (or any senior Vote Leave voice) of what he believed *in June 2016*
Others can disagree with Boris Johnson's 26.6.2016 account of what 52% voted for. Obvs 17.4m people had range of views

Nobody can disagree with his account *and* assert a broad consensus on referendum day 2016 across 52% behind any alternative account.
Boris 26.6.2016
* 'Intense and intensifying European cooperation
* Brits keep rights to live + work in EU
* UK-EU free trade & access to single market

"The *only* change – it will not come in any great rush – is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s opaque legislation"
Primary source 2
What would Leave look like?

His 26.6.2016 column with focus on close partnership & gradualism very much matched Vote Leave campaign argument: would be a UK-EU treaty deal (2018-19) to "avoid unnecessary disruption"
#BorisonBrexit Primary source 3

Resignation as Foreign Secretary over Chequers deal, Commons, July 2018.

Where had the negotiations gone wrong? (Britain botched them).

And, crucially, how could they now be put right?
(Less known: v.important)

#BorisonBrexit the sources

If negotiations went wrong, how to put that right?

"We still have time in these negotiations" (resignation speech)

He does *not* mean 8 months to 29.3.2019. He specifies we have two & a half years to prepare for WTO Brexit

Item 4 of #BorisonBrexit sources is a bundled lot: the Telegraph column he wrote and re-rewrote on September 16th (Ireland), October 15th (I agree with brother Jo), November 12th, Nov 19th and Nov 26th (he writes "forgive the repetition") which all repeat the resignation speech
#BorisonBrexit sources. my (pro-remain) brother Jo is right; May's negotiation is the worst failure of statecraft since Suez. Boris says "on the verge of total surrender"
Oct 15th version: we must abandon this surrender of our country.
#BorisonBrexit - the sources.

November saw Boris "reveal his plan to save Brexit": it is essential to fix the deal now; not try to remedy its defects after agreeing the deal. (Yet he continues to argue we have two years to do this).
Boris sets out his alternative: reject deal - but keep the transition, by EU changing their mind on backstop.

"Bank what is sensible in this WA ... Junk the backstop" - and replace it "with a simple commitment by all sides that no need for a hard border"

We threaten no deal, and prepare for it seriously, to avoid no deal.

"*Above all* we should prepare for the *unlikely* event of leaving on WTO terms ... We should vote down the deal, junk the backstop, recover our self-belief and go for SuperCanada – and we will thrive mightily"
#BorisonBrexit (Dec 2018)

'There is a better way forward: a plan on which parliament is agreed. The Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement without the prison of the Irish backstop'

'They will give in, believe me, but only if we are prepared to walk away'

#BorisonBrexit the sources
March 2019

Boris is Moses: "let my people go"
Boris, as Moses, asks for a longer transition!

"We have bottled it completely. It is time for the PM to channel the spirit of Moses in Exodus & say LET MY PEOPLE GO’

"Extend the implementation period to 2021 if necessary. Pay £39 billion. Ditch the backstop"
His Moses "let my people go" column also left #BorisonBrexit some wriggle room to back the deal in early April

"There is only one plausible reason as to why we should now let it through - and that is that every other option is now worse"
Satire: Robert Shrimsley paraphrases Boris' speech, when he voted for the deal on MV3. He does a vg Boris. (I wonder if the man himself might yet steal the "mouse that roared").
Boris plan:
1. Ditch the WA Deal
2. Veto backstop, so Irish border part of future trade talks.
3. Make declaratory 2019 agreement that want 2021 supertrade deal
4. Make practical plans for 2021
5. Secure 2019-21 transition (pay £39 bn) in WA deal. OR find solutions to no deal (?)
#BorisonBrexit Sept 2018

We could have negotiated SuperCanada in time we had

But UK "will need to buy some time"

Need to make "better use of the otherwise redundant & humiliating 'Implementation period'.

"That means we will need the Withdrawal Ag - but not the current draft"
Key short-term questions for June to Sept-Oct 2019

* Would Boris Johnson seek an extension beyond Oct 31st?
(There's quite a lot here to suggest he might well do so)

* Would he get one - and on what terms?

(Party conf 29.9-3.10.2019 + month beyond look dramatic & volatile)
Boris Johnson's policy is to quickly negotiate confident, bold "SuperCanada" free trade deal with Ireland & 26 other EU members, as part of a friendly UK-EU partnership on trade & much else. If goes WTO would be brief setback before negotiating a super deal with EU/Ireland next.
Unusual to have so much on record from a leadership candidate (have usually been mostly in frontbench roles)
- Boris Mayor of London 2008-16 + backbench MP from 2015-
- MP; co-leader of Vote Leave Feb-June 2016
- In Govt, July 2016-July 2018
- Backbencher & columnist, 2018-19
* Boris wants better Brexit deal, not no deal
* Unlikely to pledge "better deal or no deal" in 8-12 weeks? (End Oct)
* Probably would pursue an extension past Oct 2019
* "renegotiate" (has narrow objections to WA)
* "Shouldn't start from here" theme: will blame May
#BorisonBrexit the sources

On the day that May announces her departure, frontrunner Boris Johnson rules out an extension to Article 50 beyond 31st October
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