Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Theresa May to meet new cabinet after Boris Johnson's Brexit resignation


His resignation this afternoon from the Foreign Office, in response to May's Soft Brexit plan agreed at Chequers on Friday, and following the resignation of Brexit secretary David Davis last night, ends a period of political prevarication we haven't seen since Boris Johnson couldn't make up his mind about whether to back Leave or Remain at the European Union referendum.

"Politicians come and go but the problems they have created for people remain", said Mr Tusk.

Theresa May giving a statement to the the House of Commons on Brexit after Davis and Johnson quit (Picture: AFP)Will there be a leadership challenge?

The latest resignations follow other sensational re-shuffles including the replacement of Amber Rudd over the Windrush scandal.

Johnson was set to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Wednesday, and U.S. President Donald Trump will fly to London on Thursday for his first official visit to the United Kingdom, where he is set to talk to the British prime minister about a range of foreign policy issues.

Theresa May will fight any attempt to unseat her through a vote of no confidence by Conservative MPs, Downing Street has said.

"What we are proposing is challenging to the European Union", she said.

The plan is to be detailed in a white paper, which is expected to be published on Thursday. That plan is now in tatters and her political future appears uncertain.

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker joked ironically on Monday that the dual departures "clearly proves that at Chequers there was unity in the British cabinet".

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Why did David Davis resign?

The aim of the Chequers away day had been to agree the United Kingdom position - after two years of discussion - but the resignations have put a question mark over that.

Davis's departure was hailed by pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers, who have long considered May too prone to compromise with the EU. At the time, there were calls for her resignation - and now, she's facing even more pressure.

However, she is still thought to have support from the majority of the party - meaning Brexiteers could find it very hard to oust her. "I would be surprised if one [a leadership contest] is precipitated and if there is, I suspect she'd win it", he told LBC Radio.

With Britain due to leave the 28-nation bloc on March 29, 2019, European Union officials have warned Britain repeatedly that time is running out to seal a deal spelling out the terms of the divorce and a post-split relationship.

She earlier faced her critics at a packed meeting of backbench Conservative MPs, many of whom share Mr Johnson's concerns about her Brexit stance.

On Monday, May defended Friday's deal, which would allow for some ties between Britain and the EU. "It requires them to think again, to look beyond the positions they have taken so far and to agree a new and fair balance of rights and obligations". The UK government is in turmoil, but that has been the case for more than two years.

"None of this changes the basic facts: she's [May] in trouble with Brexiteers because they think her Brexit is too soft, whereas, in reality, it probably still isn't soft enough for the EU-27", Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London told EUobserver. "If it weren't so serious it would be hilarious", he added.

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