Tory rebels turning on Boris as PM to let Britons down with deal fudge, Brexiteer claims
BREXIT hardliners are privately becoming exasperated with Boris Johnson over his handling of Brexit, a former Brexit Party MEP has suggested, despite their outward proclamations of full confidence in the Prime Minister.
Brexit: EU ‘hasn’t budged an inch’ says Iain Duncan Smith
Rupert Lowe was speaking after former Tory leader and prominent eurosceptic Iain Duncan Smith made his feelings plain in an article in which he underscored his red lines for a post-Brexit trade and asked: “Of course the UK can get a deal, that’s not the question, it’s what we are being asked to give that is the problem – a deal at what price?” Publicly, Mr Duncan Smith, John Redwood and others have emphasised their confidence in the Prime Minister’s determination to stick to his guns.
We have all become used to being let down
However, asked whether he thought they were also sending a pointed message to Mr Johnson about the political risk he would face if he caved in to Brussels, Mr Lowe said: “I think there is a degree of that.
“If you look at Iain Duncan Smith, he has written an article where he has effectively given Boris the confidence via his support but ultimately does he really believe it?
“I always watch what the hand is doing not what the mouth is saying and the mouth very rarely reflects what the hand is doing.
“We have all become used to being let down.”
Iain Duncan Smith speaking in the House of Commons
Rupert Lowe believes Tory MPs are likely to be getting exasperated with Mr Johnson
With time rapidly running out, Mr Lowe suggested Tories within Parliament were likely wary of Mr Johnson trying to “bounce something through”.
He said: “He did that with the political declaration and the Northern Ireland protocol.
“Nobody had much time to debate it and everybody had Brexit fatigue.
“We did tell him that he should not have signed those documents – they have effectively undermined his negotiating position to some extent.”
Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels yesterday
As for what the outcome will be with three weeks left before the end of the transition period, Mr Lowe added: “We are all waiting. I am expecting to be disappointed.
“I thought it was extremely bad news when I saw Gove was going to Brussels.
“They have lacked the bottle to do what they were threatening to do with the Withdrawal Agreement, which again they signed.
“Boris signed the withdrawal agreement, he didn’t have to, he should never have signed it.
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