Theresa May promises orderly Brexit amid more resignations, confidence vote calls

Clay Curtis
July 12, 2018

Boris Johnson's decision to quit at the start of the week, along with Brexit minister David Davis and other officials, threatened to destabilise May's government and her plans for a business-friendly Brexit, agreed with top ministers last week.

"Boris Johnson is a friend of mine", he said.

"Seeing as the Prime Minister isn't bringing Brexit home I'm concerned attending would be a bad omen for football coming home ..."

And others would require the United Kingdom to have a separate Value-Added Tax regime from the EU and force the prime minister to table primary legislation if she wishes to keep Britain in the customs union.

Asked about the balloon, Johnson said: "It's really kind of irrelevant to what we're trying to do and it certainly doesn't express the point of view of the British people I've met".

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson said: "This faux outrage from the DUP and their fellow travellers shows their lack of awareness of what is actually happening on the ground already and displays just how out of touch and far removed from the Brexit negotiations they actually are".

The resignations have plunged her government into a crisis that could challenge her leadership and result in a no-confidence vote in parliament.

On Tuesday night, Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns, said it was time to "put country first" and warned the Prime Minister that "there will no doubt be more resignations from Brexiteers in the Cabinet" if further concessions were made to the EU.

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May replaced Johnson with a loyalist, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and gave Davis' job to Dominic Raab in a bid to shore up her authority.

In the immediate aftermath of the Cabinet signing up to Theresa May's soft Brexit strategy on Friday, the odds of a Conservative leadership contest in 2018 were 2/1.

But his claims were dismissed by former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, who said: "Dreaming is good, probably for all of us, but we have to deal with the real world".

Under Conservative Party rules, a confidence vote in a leader can be triggered if 15 per cent of Conservative lawmakers - now 48 - write a letter requesting one.

He has also criticised Downing Street for briefing Labour MPs about its Brexit plans, describing such a development as "a matter of grave concern".

On Thursday, the government proposal or White Paper was due to be published, setting out the terms for Britain's exit from the European Union and its future relations with the bloc after March 2019.

But many pro-Brexit lawmakers are furious at a plan they say will stop Britain forging an independent economic course.

"The Prime Minister had promised to do things and in Chequers and ran away from her promises, that all those statements: Brexit means Brexit, we're not going to be half in half out, all the things she had said before seemed to have been swept away by giving into the pressure of the European Union in not having a proper Brexit".

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