Dominic Cummings: PM didn't understand Brexit agreement when he signed it

13 October 2021, 11:47 | Updated: 13 October 2021, 12:03

Dominic Cummings made fresh claims about the PM and Brexit in a series of tweets
Dominic Cummings made fresh claims about the PM and Brexit in a series of tweets. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson didn't understand what his withdrawal agreement with the EU meant when he signed it, Dominic Cummings has claimed.

The PM's former chief adviser made the claim in series of explosive tweets, saying he always intended to get Mr Johnson to "ditch the bits (of the agreement) we didn't like" after beating Jeremy Corbyn in the 2019 general election.

He added in an extraordinary further tweet that "of course there wasn't 'good faith'" and "cheating foreigners is a core part of the job".

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During the election campaign, Mr Johnson repeatedly boasted the "divorce" settlement he had negotiated with Brussels was a "great" deal that was "oven ready" to be signed.

Mr Cummings' latest intervention comes after Brexit minister Lord Frost set out the UK's demands for fundamental changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol contained in the agreement which the Prime Minister signed in January 2020.

He said when Mr Johnson finally realised the true implications of the deal, he claimed he would never have agreed to it - although Mr Cummings added that was a lie.

Mr Cummings said: "What I've said does NOT mean 'the PM was lying in General Election 2019', he never had a scoobydoo what the deal he signed meant.

"He never understood what leaving Customs Union meant until November 2020."

When the Prime Minister did finally comprehend, "he was babbling 'I'd never have signed it if I'd understood it' (but that WAS a lie)".

Mr Cummings, who was credited with masterminding the successful Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, said that, when Mr Johnson entered No 10 in 2019, the country was facing the "worst constitutional crisis in a century" with much of what he called the "deep state" angling for "Bino" (Brexit in name only) or a second referendum.

"So we wriggled through with best option we could and intended to get the trolley to ditch bits we didn't like after whacking Corbyn. We prioritised," he said.

"The trolley" is Mr Cummings' derogatory nickname for the PM.

He dismissed suggestions that abandoning those elements of the Withdrawal Agreement would mean breaking international law.

"Our priorities meant e.g. getting Brexit done is 10,000 times more important than lawyers yapping re international law in negotiations with people who break international law all the time," he said.

"EU membership infantilised SW1 (Westminster) as yapping re 'international law' clearly shows."