Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union are managing a Brexit deal that will doom the U.K. to the status of a colony, former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said yesterday.
His comment came as negotiators scrambled to secure a divorce agreement with the EU.
"No one is fooled by this theater. Delay after staged managed delay," Johnson wrote on Twitter. "A deal will be reached and it will mean surrender by the U.K." "We will be doomed to remain in the customs union and under Brussels' regulatory control. People did not vote for colony status," he said. "The future can be bright if only we change course now."
Meanwhile, Britain and the EU are "almost within touching distance" of a Brexit deal after another late-night negotiating session, a close ally of Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday.
Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington – effectively the U.K. deputy prime minister – said it's "possible but not at all definite" that the two sides can reach an agreement this week, reported the Associated Press.
"We are not quite there yet," Lidington told the BBC "This was always going to be an extremely difficult, extremely complex negotiation, but we are almost within touching distance now."
May's Cabinet met yesterday for an update on the talks, with the prime minister under pressure from pro-Brexit ministers not to make further concessions to the EU.
The prime minister said Monday evening that the negotiations were in their "endgame" but that she would not sign up to an "agreement at any cost."
Britain wants to seal a deal this fall, so that Parliament has time to vote on it before the U.K. leaves the bloc on March 29. The European Parliament also has to approve any agreement.