Prime Minister stems flow of Brexit resignations from her cabinet

12 July, 2018, 11:58 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Theresa May

Theresa May defended her plans as she arrived at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, saying it had been agreed by the government and "delivers on the vote that people gave on Brexit".

Their departure followed that of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Davis' number two, Brexit Minister Steve Baker.

Mrs May addressed the 1922 Committee in Westminster on Monday evening, raising the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government to appeal for Tory unity on Brexit.

Mr. Johnson was quickly replaced by 51-year-old former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, who unlike Mr. Johnson supported staying in the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

After the cabinet meeting, Mrs May tweeted that she was "looking ahead to a busy week".

"I maybe will speak to him when I get over there", said Trump, who arrives in Britain on Thursday and is set to hold talks with May and meet with Queen Elizabeth II on Friday.

Late on Sunday night Britain's Brexit minister David Davis also resigned after disagreeing with plans laid out by Prime Minister Theresa May to negotiate a soft Brexit.

"I think you have to give all the protagonists, whether it's the president or the prime minister, a little bit of leeway here". In case there was any doubt on the matter, he added: "I like Boris Johnson, I've always liked him".

Conservative lawmaker Michael Fallon, an ally of May, dismissed Johnson's "Brexit dream" rallying cry.

Ambassador Johnson said he would facilitate a meeting between Trump and Boris Johnson, who is seen as a potential challenger to May, telling BBC radio: "If the president wants to do that and he feels it's appropriate, he'll make that decision".


But prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg described it as a "breakdown in trust" and said Mrs May must now U-turn or be forced to rely on Labour votes to get her legislation through Parliament.

Other pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers said they supported May and would not resign.

"This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party", said the Lewes MP.

Asked if he was planning to quit, environment Secretary Michael Gove said "absolutely not".

The UK has spoken of boosting the Commonwealth and forging a free trade pact with India after Brexit, but that will not be easy if Britain refuses to budge from its tough position on movement of people and visas.

A plan agreed by May's Cabinet last week seeks to keep the United Kingdom and the European Union in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products.

One disgruntled Tory MP even declined an invitation to watch England's World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia at 10 Downing Street because of his unhappiness with Mrs May's Brexit plans.

May says the plan will deliver frictionless trade with Europe and avoid a hard border between the UK's Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

And in an article for The Scotsman today, Ms Sturgeon writes: "After the Davis and Johnson resignations, it is highly questionable whether there is a majority for the Chequers plan as it stands".

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