Former Tory association chairman brands Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals as 'vacuous, irresponsible drivel'

Dr Jason Aldiss, former chairman of the Pudsey Conservative Association. Photo: JPI Media
Dr Jason Aldiss, former chairman of the Pudsey Conservative Association. Photo: JPI Media
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The former Chairman of the Pudsey Conservative Association, who resigned his membership on the day Boris Johnson was appointed Prime Minister, has described Johnson’s Conservative conference speech as “vacuous, irresponsible drivel.”

Dr Jason Aldiss, who served in a succession of senior positions across the Party for almost 25 years, said: “As ever with Boris Johnson, the hype in no way lived up to the reality.

“His poor attempts at humour when we are in the midst of a national crisis were characteristically ill-judged, even when delivered to an audience of baying fools.”

In his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party conference yesterday, Mr Johnson urged Brussels to compromise as he said put forward "constructive and reasonable proposals" to resolve the Brexit deadlock.

The Prime Minister insisted the UK was ready to leave without a deal on October 31 if the European Union refused to work with him on reaching an agreement.

And he insisted his plan to replace the Irish backstop would "in no circumstances" result in checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson said: "Today in Brussels we are tabling what I believe are constructive and reasonable proposals which provide a compromise for both sides.

"We will under no circumstances have checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland

"We will respect the peace process and the Good Friday agreement

"And by a process of renewable democratic consent by the executive and assembly of Northern Ireland we will go further and protect the existing regulatory arrangements for farmers and other businesses on both sides of the border.

"And at the same time we will allow the UK - whole and entire - to withdraw from the EU, with control of our own trade policy from the start. "

Mr Johnson acknowledged the plan represented a "compromise by the UK".

"I hope very much that our friends understand that and compromise in their turn," he told the Manchester conference.

"Because if we fail to get an agreement because of what is essentially a technical discussion of the exact nature of future customs checks, when that technology is improving the whole time, then let us be in no doubt that the alternative is no deal.

"That is not an outcome we want. It is not an outcome we seek at all.

"But ... it is an outcome for which we are ready."

However Dr Aldiss said: “He claimed the country is ready for a no-deal Brexit when we’re clearly not.

“He described the Irish border problem – which was never mentioned by the Leave campaign before the referendum – as ‘a technical discussion’ about customs when it is actually about the integrity of the EU Single Market, a genuine threat to the Good Friday Agreement and a severe risk to the future of the Union itself.

“Johnson said he remains determined to deliver Brexit on October 31 ‘come what may’.

“But the Benn Act makes a no-deal Brexit illegal.

“We already know that Johnson is a stranger to the truth. Last week’s Supreme Court judgement found that he is also prepared to ignore the rule of law.

“This man cannot be allowed to plunge our nation into the abyss of a no-deal Brexit.

“His supposed ‘final Brexit offer’ to the EU is foolhardy and deliberately designed for failure so he can attempt to avoid personal responsibility for the consequences – as has been his lifelong habit.

“I see no alternative to the direction Johnson’s vile Government is taking us other than its removal from office.

“More vacuous, irresponsible drivel from this clown of a Prime Minister will get us nowhere.”

Mr Johnson is expected to defend his Brexit proposals to MPs as he appeals to EU leaders to back his new blueprint.

The Prime Minister will give a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, a Downing Street source indicated, and then face a grilling from critics.

The statement will come after he updates his Cabinet at Number 10 on his proposals and before calls to EU leaders.