Tory chaos: divisions over Brexit continue in wake of resignations

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

"Top-level cabinet resignations usually spell trouble for a government and Boris Johnson's might well have led to a leadership challenge, but May appears to have emerged unscathed from a meeting of her party, for now", said Al Jazeera's Jonah Hill, reporting from London.

The resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson - who said they could not support Mrs May's proposed trading relationship with the European Union - have piled pressure on the PM and prompted speculation about a leadership challenge.

But former Conservative leader William Hague warned party rebels that voting against the Prime Minister's final deal could result in Brexit being indefinitely delayed or halted altogether.

Hunt, who served as the health secretary, was assigned to his new role late on Monday hours after Johnson handed in his resignation letter to May.

While in Brussels, Mrs May is due to meet US President Donald Trump, who described the United Kingdom as being in "turmoil" after the resignations of Mr Johnson and Mr Davis from Cabinet. Asked whether he wanted Mrs May to stay in Downing Street, the president said: "I get along with her very well. that's certainly up to the people, not up to me".

Members of Theresa May MP's Cabinet gathered at 10 Downing Street as the Prime Minister chaired a meeting following the shock resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis.

The four-day trip, which will include talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, tea with Queen Elizabeth II and a private weekend in Scotland, is set to be greeted by a leftist-organised mass protest in London on Friday.

That was despite the likes of Mr Johnson and Mr Davis privately expressing their reservations about the prime minister's strategy.

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

But top Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg described the agreement as a "breakdown in trust" and said Mrs May needed to alter her course or face having to rely on Labour votes to get it through parliament.

Speaking at the Institute of global and European Affairs in Dublin, Minister Coveney said there had not been a clear British negotiating position for many months.

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

The pair will discuss relations with Russia, Brexit and trade ties, Downing Street officials said, after Trump recently slapped tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium imports.

The foreign and Brexit secretaries have both quit over the plans.

Two years after Britain voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union, May is trying to find a middle way between two starkly differing views - within her party and the country - of the UK's relationship with Europe.

The pair said they have stood down as they oppose Theresa May's Chequers policy on Brexit.

"We deliver that Brexit and we do it in a way that protects jobs and livelihoods and meets our commitment to Northern Ireland". The British government is due to publish a detailed version of the plans on Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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