Published: Tue, July 10, 2018

May's Government in chaos as Johnson and Davis quit over Brexit plan

May's Government in chaos as Johnson and Davis quit over Brexit plan

Boris Johnson (file) in March.

The British government says Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has resigned, amid a widening split in the Cabinet over Brexit.

His departure is a huge story and turns what might have been a couple of days of significant turmoil, into a significant crisis for Theresa May and the whole Brexit project.

Jeremy Corbyn took aim at Theresa May's Government following the stunning resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis.

In an apparent boost for the embattled PM, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, is said to have confirmed at the meeting now he has not received the 48 letters from MPs that would trigger a no-confidence vote.

Speculation about Mr Johnson's future had grown when he failed to attend a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee earlier on Monday.

A Tory leadership contest can be called in one of two ways - if May resigns or if MPs force and win a vote of no confidence in her. "The dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt", he wrote.

It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws.

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.

May told Parliament in a heated session that her plan was "not a betrayal" of the referendum vote.

The official portrait of David Davis.


The damning criticism in his resignation letter was Johnson's first explanation for his stunning decision to walk out of Government this afternoon.

He told the BBC that he thought the United Kingdom was giving away "too much, too easily" and predicted that the European Union would be demanding more concessions in talks.

Johnson gave a scathing verdict on Theresa May's Brexit plans tonight as his resignation letter said the "Brexit dream is dying, suffocated by needless self doubt".

"If she doesn't drop Chequers there will be another", they said, "then another, then another, then another".

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

The resignations of two of her most senior Cabinet ministers comes amid growing talk of a leadership challenge.

What has been the reaction from the EU?

The European Commission declined to comment on Mr Davis's exit but Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he hoped a change in faces might lead to a change in policy.

What does it all mean for Brexit?

It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.

Newly appointed Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.

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