Boris Johnson calls for business investment in UK

Image copyright PA Image caption The Prime Minister said Boris Johnson’s Brexit speech was positive

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned from the government in protest over the Prime Minister’s plan for Brexit, wants businesses to invest in the UK.

He spoke at an event to promote his own policy proposals on Brexit at a London business forum.

Mrs May secured the backing of her Cabinet and MPs last week for her “plan B” Brexit that includes plans for an alternative single market relationship.

But the Liberal Democrats and Labour said Mr Johnson’s proposals were not credible.

‘Risks outweigh benefits’

Writing in a newspaper newspaper, Mr Johnson said the “current state of affairs” was leading to “greater risks with no tangible benefits.”

He said countries across the world were turning their backs on Britain because of the instability caused by Brexit.

“My view is that we cannot believe ourselves safe in the knowledge that we are safe with Mrs May’s deal,” he said.

“I do not want the UK to become the Barnier of the 21st century.”

It is believed Mr Johnson raised a private meeting of May’s Cabinet ahead of the Brexit plan and phoned businesses to thank them for backing the move.

As well as duelling with the Prime Minister over Brexit, Mr Johnson also praised cartoon character Peppa Pig for urging people to vote to stay in the EU.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Boris Johnson praised Peppa Pig for encouraging people to stay in the EU

He said Brexit could lead to “a third way for the world – one that lowers risk, does not take us towards a trap door, but towards risk reduction”.

He added: “When there is nothing fundamentally wrong, risks are always three times as large as if they were entirely right.”

‘Not credible’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Foreign Secretary’s proposals were not credible.

“Just to remind everyone what his actual policy was: The EU, as he says, has to play a role, but the UK has to play its part too.”

Theresa May’s Brexit spokesman said that there would be no second referendum but stressed that it was time to move forward.

“If people are not going to accept our deal then we must look again. And we certainly should look again if the EU thinks it can treat us so unfairly,” he said.

“I would be tempted to work with people who are prepared to look again at our terms.”

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable said Mr Johnson’s ideas would be catastrophic for Britain.

He added: “Boris’s ideas are utter madness. They would cause irreparable damage to not just Britain but the rest of the EU too. They are not credible proposals.”

He also questioned Mrs May’s ability to secure a good Brexit deal as it had no “solvency”.

And he urged the government to ensure the rights of EU citizens are protected in order to ensure the economy was not put under pressure.

“The Prime Minister has to come clean with the British people whether the deal she has reached is workable and to what extent it is in the best interests of the UK as a whole,” he said.

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