In his weekly column in The Telegraph, high-profile Brexiteer Boris Johnson slammed Theresa May's soft Brexit proposal as a "historic mistake" that would turn Britain into a "perpetual punk of Brussels."
He referred to the so-called Chequers plan, also known as Brexit white paper, which states that London and Brussels could enable the free movement of all goods, but not of people and services, and maintain a "common rulebook" for all goods. The EU has rejected the proposal, however, amid concerns that it would undermine the European single market.
Johnson, a former British foreign secretary who resigned from office last month alongside former Brexit Secretary David Davis in protest against Theresa May's white paper, suggested that the Greek economic crisis was fueled by the Greek authorities' failure to tell EU negotiators to "get lost," and that with the UK leaving the bloc, its interests would be swept under the rug.
"Will the EU act in our interests and the interests of UK jobs and growth, or the interests of the EU? The answer is clear. It is written in graffiti all over Greece. Why, then, are we proposing to turn the UK, in important respects, into the perpetual punk of Brussels? Chuck Chequers."
Earlier this month, Greece exited its three-year eurozone bailout program — a third one in eight years, prompting talks about economic recovery from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European officials.
As Greece racked up massive government debt and plunged into deep recession following the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, the EU provided bailout money to the country to stop it from going bankrupt and to save the eurozone. The money was given in exchange for painful austerity measures, including pension cuts and tax increases, which has given rise to anti-establishment sentiment in Greece, toppling four governments and shrinking the local economy by a quarter.