Boris Johnson Declines to Say If He'd Resign Over Customs Union

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(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declined to say whether he’d resign if Parliament forced the prime minister into staying in the customs union with the European Union after Brexit.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Group of Seven meeting in Toronto on Monday, Johnson avoided answering directly the question of whether he could stay in his role if the U.K. remained in a customs union.

Read more: May Is Said to Face Cabinet Pressure on Brexit Customs Union

“As you know, coming out of the EU doesn’t mean we’re leaving Europe,” he said. “It does mean we have to change our relationships with the institutions of the EU and that clearly means coming out of the customs union, out of the single market.”

Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to avert a Cabinet revolt amid fears from euroskeptic Tories that she’ll break her promise to take the U.K. out of the European Union’s trade regime. May’s inner circle thinks she could be forced to accept staying in the EU’s customs union because Parliament will reject her plan to withdraw from it when the issue comes to a vote in the House of Commons, according to one official.

“The prime minister is very clear that we are leaving the customs union and that we will have the freedom to strike our own trade deals,” May’s spokesman, James Slack, told reporters on Monday, when asked about Johnson’s comments.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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