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Johnson: PM's plan for leaving EU is an 'outrage'

By Alan McGuinness, political reporter, in Birmingham
Boris Johnson has slammed Theresa May's blueprint for leaving the EU as an "outrage" that would reduce Britain to being "locked in the tractor beam of Brussels".
Seeking to deal what he hopes will be a mortal blow to the prime minister's controversial Chequers plan, the former foreign secretary said sticking with it would "embolden" those calling for a second referendum, as well as the far left and far right.Responding to Mr Johnson's latest intervention, the PM told Sky News: "Boris always puts on a good show, but what matters to people is what we're delivering for them on the things that affect their day to day lives."Mr Johnson quit Mrs May's Cabinet in protest against the Chequers proposal, which critics argue would leave Britain too closely aligned to EU rules and regulations and fail to deliver on the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

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In a speech to a packed crowd of MPs, activists and journalists at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Johnson said it was a "total fantasy" that Britain could "bodge" Brexit now and then negotiate a better deal at a later date.Chequers was, he said, "not what we voted for" and a recipe for "continued acrimony" as it would encourage calls for another vote, something which would be "disastrous for trust in politics".As his father Stanley and sister Rachel watched on, Mr Johnson said: "This is not pragmatic, it is not a compromise. It is dangerous and unstable - politically and economically."My fellow Conservatives, this is not democracy. This is not what we voted for. This is an outrage.
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'Are you being naughty, Mr Johnson?'
"This is not taking back control: this is forfeiting control."Chequers, he claimed, would "cheat" the electorate and "escalate the sense of mistrust", adding: "If we get it wrong - if we bottle Brexit now - believe me, the people of this country will find it hard to forgive."While the thrust of his speech was for a change in policy and not a change in leader, the breadth of topics covered and the broad vision Mr Johnson sought to outline will have left those who heard his speech in no doubt that he still has designs on Downing Street.He said the Tories should bring back stop and search, look to cut taxes where possible, called for an increase in house building and said the party should extol the virtues of the free market to contrast the party to Labour's plans for nationalising industries.
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May talks to Sky News about Boris Johnson and post-Brexit immigration
Numerous prominent Brexit-backing MPs were front and centre for the speech, including former Brexit secretary David Davis, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex-Cabinet minister Priti Patel.But while Mr Johnson sought to sell his political vision to the audience, it was Brexit that took up the bulk of his speech.He urged delegates to persuade the PM to "chuck" Chequers and return to the policies set out in her Lancaster House speech of January 2017, something he said would be a "win-win" for both Britain and the EU.
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