Boris Johnson apology: Nick Robinson grills Brandon Lewis
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Jayne Adye warned the Prime Minister that to “get Brexit done” properly, and secure his legacy, he needs to get his “head out of the sand” and demonstrate to everyone around him that the process is not yet complete. It comes as Mr Johnson is under increasing pressure following his apology in the Commons for attending a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street Garden in May 2020.
However, the director of the Get Britain Out campaign said this is no excuse for him to take his eye off the ball.
She explained: “Even as far back as the start of 2020 – with his fresh 80-seat majority – Boris Johnson had already reportedly banned the use of the word ‘Brexit’ inside Number 10, before we had even got a final trade deal with the EU!
“All this seems to tell the public is that Boris appears somehow ashamed of Brexit.”
Boris Johnson has work to do to liberate the UK from Ursula von der Leyen’s EU, said Ms Adye (Image: GETTY)
Boris Johnson apologises in the Commons on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)
Ms Adye added: “The mentality held by some about Brexit being only a ‘historical event’ is at the heart of why the Prime Minister continually fails to deliver on the opportunities our exit from the European Union was supposed to create.
“You cannot ‘Get Brexit Done’ properly if you refuse to use the word ‘Brexit’, or accept the job will not be ‘Done’ for years to come! Brexit is not a switch to be flicked on and off and then ignored.”
It would take years to change the swathes of legislation and regulations “imposed” on the UK throughout its membership of the EU, Ms Adye pointed out.
She said: “However, acting as if nothing more needs to be done now is frankly ridiculous, and more importantly, dangerous!
Boris Johnson has made much of his famous campaign slogan (Image: GETTY)
“If this is really about not ‘offending’ some of these civil servants by placating their ‘Remainer’ beliefs and not making them think about Brexit, then we evidently need a serious change in the Civil Service to bring in some responsible adults who can actually do their jobs effectively.
“How on earth can the job be done properly, by a large majority of civil servants who do not believe in the benefits Brexit can do for our country?”
Ms Adye added: “Ever since Boris Johnson’s election victory in 2019, it seems the PM has been trying to hide away from a ‘real Brexit’ and pretend that simply exiting the political structures of the European Union is enough to complete the job.
“Is this because Boris never really believed in Brexit in the first place?
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Boris and Carrie Johnson (Image: GETTY)
Boris Johnson’s approval rating (Image: Express)
“Since we won the EU Referendum and voted to Leave the EU, has Boris had second thoughts, but still wants to cling on as Prime Minister?
“Has Boris’s vision been turned by other influences – perhaps by the strong views of his now-wife, Carrie Johnson?”
Inevitably, the COVID-19 Pandemic has been a “necessary focus” for the Government for the past two years, acknowledged Ms Adye.
However, she said: “We cannot forget Brexit has created an improved response to the pandemic throughout the world with our remarkable vaccine rollout.
Boris Johnson’s Cabinet (Image: Express)
“What’s more, Brexit will potentially allow the UK economy to recover faster following the pandemic, but only if opportunities for reform of EU legislation we temporarily took on board in January 2021 are taken.”
The furore over “Partygate” was currently making it difficult for the Government to prioritise Mr Johnson’s Global Britain vision, Ms Adye conceded.
She warned: “Regardless of attempts to distract attention, Boris must now concentrate on the future of Brexit Britain if he is to stand a chance of actually delivering on the promises he made to the Great British Public over cuts to VAT; ending the role of the European Court of Justice; and cutting away restrictive EU red tape.”
Only in this way – delivering on the promises he made in the 2019 general election campaign – could Mr Johnson strengthen his position going forward, Ms Adye stressed.
Brexit in Express front pages (Image: Express)
She concluded: “If the Prime Minister really wants to ‘Get Brexit Done’ properly – and for this to become part of his legacy – then he must dig his head out of the sand and fight to show those working beneath him – as well as the public – he understands Brexit is Not Yet Complete.
“Trying to hide from this through the use of mixed messages, will not fool any of the Great British public.
“Boris Johnson will just be ridiculed and potentially lose his credibility; his majority; and his seat at the next general election.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Number 10 for comment.