Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leaves his home in London

EPA  ParliamentBoris Johnson is in the firing line from pro-Brexiteers like MP Andrew Brigden EPA ParliamentBoris Johnson is in the firing line from pro-Brexiteers like MP Andrew Brigden
Faye Gross | 12 July, 2018, 20:58

"Mrs May was very clear in her manifesto what was going to happen; that we were leaving the single market, we were leaving the customs union and we'd be an independent country - and what came out of Chequers is unacceptable".

Although May looked to have avoided a direct challenge to her leadership, there were more signs that all was not well.

After a prominent role in the Leave campaign in the 2016 European Union referendum, there was initially no place in Mrs May's administration for Mr Raab, who was sacked from ministerial office on her arrival in power that year.

Johnson, who dramatically stepped down earlier yesterday from his post soon after the resignation of Brexit minister David Davis, accused May of pursuing a "semi-Brexit" with proposals for post-Brexit trade that would leave Britain as a "colony" of the EU.

During a day packed with high-profile Cabinet departures, she also faced down her Conservative party's powerful 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, amid rumours they were close to getting the 48 signatures needed to trigger a no-confidence vote that could have removed her as Prime Minister.

"It is a vision that respects the result of the referendum (vote to leave), and delivers a principled and practical Brexit", Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said in the foreword.

The decision by Mr Davis swiftly ended the impression that Mrs May had pulled off a political masterstroke by pushing through her vision of Brexit while keeping rival factions of her party onside.

Trump, answering a reporter's question about whether May would stay in power, said: "That's up to the people".

He said: "When it comes to a vote sometime around the end of this year, let us say that Theresa May has done a deal that bears some resemblance to what was put forward at Chequers with the EU". Mr Rees-Mogg refused to support her and said that "she would be well advised to revisit her Brexit policy". They quit amid divisions in the government over Brexit. One described accepting European Union rules as "the ultimate betrayal".

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Widdecombe, well-known in Britain as being characteristically blunt, served in government under Prime Minister John Major, and in opposition under William Hague, where she was frequently tipped as a future party leader.

"Brexit should be about opportunity and hope".

Davis resigned in protest over government plans to maintain a close trading relationship with the EU.

"We don't want to be going into that crucial period of September, October, November, without political stability, and that is why it is very much in the national interest that we have political stability in the autumn and we don't risk finding ourselves in the situation that the United Kingdom now finds itself in".

"The dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt", Johnson writes in the letter to May.

An EU leaders summit in Salzburg, Austria, in September may be "upgraded" to consider progress on Brexit, Varadkar said.

The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, which has long argued for Brexit, said May had made "blunder after blunder". But others argued that May had adopted the most realistic plan after losing her parliamentary majority in an ill-judged election a year ago, leaving her reliant on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

"If people don't like this proposal, what is their alternative?"

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