Johnson backs group pressing PM to deliver Brexit

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Boris Johnson has helped launch a new group aimed at ensuring Theresa May delivers on her promise that "Brexit means Brexit".

The Foreign Secretary has thrown his weight behind the Change Britain campaign, which is led by his former Vote Leave colleague Labour MP Gisela Stuart.

Mr Johnson said the group would make sure that the UK gained control over "laws, borders, money and trade" as part of the process of leaving the European Union.

His comments came as former Cabinet minister John Whittingdale urged the Prime Minister to speed up the formal process of breaking away from Brussels, rather than waiting until next year to trigger Article 50.

Mr Johnson, who was a key player in the Vote Leave movement, recorded a video message supporting Change Britain - which involves some of the other prominent figures from the Brexit camp including Michael Gove, whose decision to stand for the Tory leadership effectively torpedoed the Foreign Secrertary's hopes of entering Number 10.

In his message Mr Johnson said: "On June 23  the people of this country voted to leave the European Union and they voted for change. 

"They did so by a clear majority. But there were many people who also voted for remain. So it's absolutely vital that we work together, Leavers and Remainers, as we seize the opportunities that this country now has to forge a positive and exciting new relationship, not just with the European Union, but also with the rest of the world; changing Britain and making it global again. 

"Now more than ever we need to show the British people that as politicians we are listening to what they have to say. 

"Brexit means Brexit and that means delivering on their instructions and restoring UK control over our laws, borders, money and trade."

Ms Stuart said: "'The vote means this country will undergo the biggest change in 40 years in our diplomatic, trade and economic relationships.

"It also creates a unique opportunity to review our democratic and constitutional arrangements. Making the most of these opportunities is going to take careful, hard work.

"The referendum also marked a more profound political change than a change of occupancy in Downing Street. It has forced us to acknowledge that people in large sections of the UK have lost faith in political parties and the Westminster elite. 

"While millions in this country enjoy unprecedented prosperity and freedoms, many millions more feel despair at their sense of exclusion and diminishing prospects.

"The referendum debate divided families and friends and there is still some of the feeling of disorientation that ran through July as we all came to terms with the enormity of the change.

"Some on both sides seem attracted to refighting old battles, but the British people are impatient for us to roll up our sleeves and get down to work. This isn't a time for Leavers and Remainers; now is a time for doers."

Meanwhile Mr Whittingdale, the former culture secretary, urged Mrs May to push ahead with triggering Article 50, which begins the formal two-year process of leaving the EU.

"Article 50 is the beginning of the process rather than the end," he told the Telegraph. "We do need to get the formal process under way. I don't say that it has to happen tomorrow but I would like it to happen pretty soon, and by that I mean weeks, not months."

He also revealed how he responded to being sacked as Mrs May took office: "I went clubbing in Ibiza. It was great.

"Dance music in a club is as much about the light show, the atmosphere and the volume as the music itself. If you listen to it in your car it's not quite the same."