Saturday, 22 September, 2018

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns amid Cabinet splits over Brexit

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attends a cabinet meeting hosted by Theresa May at the Prime Minister's country retreat Chequers in Buckinghamshire Image The foreign secretary is an outsider- especially considering his recent remarks
Deanna Wagner | 10 July, 2018, 16:08

Cabinet ministers rallied round Theresa May at today's cabinet meeting as Brexiteers said they were plotting a "guerrilla" campaign to force her to abandon her Brexit compromise.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said sources had told her that either Mrs May "dumps" the plan signed off at Chequers or "another minister will go, then another, then another, then another".

The Brexit secretary became the fifth cabinet minister to step down in under a year after Amber Rudd, Michael Fallon, Priti Patel and Damian Green vacated their positions.

Mrs May however appears to have lived to fight another day, with no vote of no confidence tabled by her MPs.

Johnson, another loud pro-Brexit voice within May's divided government, slammed May in a resignation letter, accusing her of flying "white flags" of surrender in negotiations with the EU. "The dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt", he wrote.

The Cabinet minister quit his position, saying "the current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look less and less likely that the government could "deliver on the mandate of the referendum, and on our manifesto commitment to leave the customs union and the Single Market".

The Foreign Secretary quit his role in government hours after Mr Davis stood down as Brexit Secretary.

Responding to Johnson's resignation, a Downing Street spokesman said: "This afternoon, the prime minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary".

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'His replacement will be announced shortly. "The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work", an emailed statement from May's office said. Davis slammed the agreement, which promotes a "soft exit" from the European Union versus a swift, clean break, as giving away "too much away, too easily" to E.U. negotiators.

I take my hat off to you.

Opposition politicians were quick to capitalize on May's troubles.

"Theresa May's Government is in meltdown", deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson said.

"Two secretaries of state have resigned and still we are no clearer as to what our future relationship with our nearest neighbors and biggest trading partners will be".

"My personal opinion is that she has strengthened herself quite a bit", he told Al Jazeera in an interview from London.

Some Brexit-supporting lawmakers are angry at the proposals, saying they will keep Britain tethered to the bloc and unable to change its rules to strike new trade deals around the world.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May should make way for a Labour administration if her Government can not get its act together quickly. There was feverish speculation on Monday about May's prospects.