Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns amid Cabinet's deep divisions over Brexit

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns amid Cabinet's deep divisions over Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May holds a meeting of her cabinet on Tuesday, a day after her government was thrown into turmoil when two senior ministers quit in protest at her plans for trade ties with the European Union after Brexit.

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".

Earlier on Monday, the prime minister's office also announced the appointment of Dominic Raab as Brexit secretary, replacing Davis.

May has faced a backlash over the plan from Brexit hardliners in her Conservative Party who say it gives too many concessions to the European Union, but she has support from moderates and there has been no challenge to her leadership.

Davis quit late Sunday saying he could not support May's plans for close trade and regulatory ties with the bloc after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union next year.

Mrs May said she was "sorry - and a little surprised" by Mr Johnson's move after his apparent support on Friday.

The prime minister's official spokesman said she would fight any attempt to oust her as prime minister if the required 48 Tory MPs called for a contest.

"That doesn't work, somebody else could do a better job than me".

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Theresa May only has a majority in Parliament with the support of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, so any split raises questions about whether her plan could survive a Commons vote.

But former Conservative leader William Hague, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said May´s critics had failed to produce "any credible alternative proposal" and warned that further resignations could put Brexit itself "at risk". Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads a bloc of Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs in Parliament, urged May to give up on the plan.

May defended her Brexit plan to lawmakers in the House of Commons on Monday, with Johnson absent from his usual place on the Conservative front bench.

May said the plan would deliver frictionless trade with Europe and was the "only way to avoid a hard border" between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

If she refuses to change course, she could face a leadership challenge.

"Boris goes in for the kill" is the Daily Mail's headline, with the paper warning the "day of chaos" has left the PM fighting for her survival.

Matt Hancock MP, formerly the Culture Secretary, has been appointed the new Health Secretary.

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