Published: Tue, July 10, 2018

Boris Johnson’s resignation over Brexit, explained

Boris Johnson’s resignation over Brexit, explained

Johnson resigned from his position as Britain's foreign secretary, soon after the exit of Brexit Secretary David Davis - who said he strongly disagreed with Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for leaving the EU.

Just 48 hours ago, the former Vote Leave leader's position was that while May's customs plan, which would keep us bound by European Union rules in perpetuity, was a "turd", he was still willing to sell it.

The slew of resignations could possibly point to members of Parliament demanding a vote of no confidence in May, even though her team is confident that their Brexit plan would pass if it gets put to a vote. He attacks May's plans in terms that, one imagines, were sharpened after No10 purposefully made a statement about his resignation before he had published his own.

Mr Johnson does not pull any punches, saying Brexit "should be about opportunity and hope" and a "chance to do things differently", but "that dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt". After the vote, he famously said that his position on Brexit negotiations amounted to: "I am pro having my cake and pro eating it".

She paid tribute to Mr Johnson's "passion" in championing a global Britain after Brexit and Mr Davis' work in steering through key Brexit legislation.

Mr Johnson went on; "On Friday, I acknowledged that my side of the argument were too few to prevail and congratulated you on at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward".

The resignations dealt yet another blow to the beleaguered leader, just two days after she announced she had finally united her quarrelsome government behind her plan for a divorce deal with the EU.

U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis departs Downing Street following a cabinet meeting in London on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day the EU Commission had "no specific comment" on the overnight resignation of Davis, which it said was "not a problem for the EU".


The withdrawal agreement - the prerequisite for an EU-UK trade deal and a transition period - needs to be agreed by the end of the year the latest in order to have enough time for ratification in the EU and the UK before Britain leaves the EU next March.

"It seems to me we're giving too much away, too easily, and that's a risky strategy at this time", Davis said in a BBC radio interview Monday morning.

Theresa May appointed Dominic Raab, the housing minister, to the post after David Davis quit.

Under her proposal, a treaty would be signed committing the UK to "continued harmonisation" with EU rules - avoiding friction at the UK-EU border, including Northern Ireland.

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.

The Prime Minister enduring a bruising battle today as the two Cabinet heavyweights resigned over Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson and Mr Davis had abandoned a "sinking ship", shattering the "illusion of unity" initially surrounding the Chequers plan.

In response to questions about whether the government is in "meltdown", May's spokesman said "it is not".

European Union officials on Monday sounded unimpressed by Davis's resignation, saying he had been once to Brussels over the past two months, even though he is the top negotiator for the UK.

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