United Kingdom to offer €20bn for Brexit divorce bill, report says

As the Tories isolate Boris Johnson he gets an unhelpful defence on the BBC

Friends of Johnson told the newspaper he "could not live with" the version of Brexit under consideration, which prompted the publication of his personal blueprint for Brexit in the Telegraph at the weekend.

Mrs May called a cabinet meeting last week and will deliver a speech on Brexit in Italy this Friday.

And even though the Prime Minister tried to play down speculation about the size of the rift by saying "Boris is Boris", the fact that she's had to indulge her Foreign Secretary's disloyalty appears to illustrate the invidiousness of her own leadership.

Mr Johnson is understood to have misgivings about suggestions that Britain could remain closely tied to Brussels for years ahead after formally leaving the European Union in March 2017.

It emerged earlier in the day that he will travel to Florence to hear her Brexit speech, billed by Number 10 as a "significant moment" in the process of Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

It is understood that May's speech will avoid discussing the finer details of a future UK-EU relationship, which would leave the door open for either of the options reportedly favoured by different members of the cabinet.

"So I contributed a small article to the pages of the Telegraph, and now everyone who had previously accused me of saying too little are now saying I am saying rather too much", he said.

Publicly, Johnson stopped short of threatening to resign, saying the Cabinet is "a nest of singing birds".

"I still have some difficulty seeing how, after the general election which produced a hung parliament in the United Kingdom, this government is going to get its form of Brexit through", he said.

The PM's spokesman said that Mrs May had met Ivanka at the G20 summit in Germany in July, when Ms Trump expressed an interest in giving her backing to the campaign against modern slavery which the Prime Minister has spearheaded.

Asked by reporters in NY, where is he attending the UN General Assembly, whether he would resign if Mrs May's speech did not endorse his approach, he replied: "No".

But asked directly if he would resign today, Johnson replied "no", telling reporters: "I think you might be barking up the wrong tree". Switzerland pays for access to the single market. Former chancellor, Ken Clarke, said he would have undoubtedly been dismissed, if May were not in such a weak position.

Phil Hogan, the Irish EU agriculture commissioner, said it was clear that the foreign secretary had become a "diminished figure" who was acting "strangely".

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