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Theresa May ‘supported 100% by Boris Johnson on Brexit plan’

A Number 10 source also played down suggestions Mrs May is going to walk out of Brexit talks in September in a staged show of defiance.

Boris Johnson backs Theresa May’s Brexit plan “100%” despite claims he could welcome an easing up on the Prime Minister’s “red lines” for negotiations, a source close to the Foreign Secretary has said.

It comes after Brexit Secretary David Davis’s former chief of staff James Chapman claimed Mrs May’s insistence on leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had “hamstrung” his ex-boss in negotiations.

Mr Chapman also claimed the likes of Mr Davis and Mr Johnson could welcome an easing of the PM’s Brexit demands, including on leaving the ECJ and Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community), and potentially on immigration.

But a source close to Mr Johnson said he fully supports the Brexit vision Mrs May set out in her Lancaster House speech in January, including leaving the ECJ, single market and customs union.

The Foreign Secretary also wants “managed immigration”, while being a supporter of Britain being an “open and diverse country”.

It came as a Number 10 source played down suggestions Mrs May is going to walk out of Brexit talks in September in a staged show of defiance over EU demands for a “divorce bill” of tens of billions of pounds.

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Number 10 played down suggestions Mrs May is going to walk out of Brexit talks (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)

The Sunday Telegraph reported a senior Downing Street figure, among the raft of the PM’s advisers who have recently left the Government, had briefed industry and City bosses about the plan in an effort to limit the backlash from financial markets.

But a Number 10 source said: “This suggestion has no part in our plans.”

Outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said of the idea that Mrs May could walk out of Brexit talks: “This threat to throw her toys out of the pram is a desperate attempt by the Prime Minister to show strength as her approval ratings and influence plummet. It is no way to conduct negotiations that are vital for the future of every family in this country.

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Tim Farron campaigned against Brexit (Victoria Jones/PA)

“The best thing for the City and the whole of Britain would be for the Government to commit to our membership of the single market and customs union so that we can protect our economy, jobs and keep prices down.

“Most importantly, the British people must be given their say on the final deal, and be able to reject it if that is what they decide.”

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