UK prime minister fights to stop Cabinet exodus over Brexit

Blanche Robertson
July 11, 2018

Boris Johnson quit his post yesterday, following the earlier resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis, putting the government in a tight spot with less than nine months left to complete the complex Brexit negotiations.

This is a possibility, particularly now Mr Johnson has followed Mr Davis out of the door.

The prime minister has warned the Tory party it must unite or face the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in power.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the staunchest of Brexit hardliners, went so far as to say that May's Chequers deal is worse than a no-deal hard Brexit, something that would see Britain crashing out of the European Union with no trade deal and the rights of European Union citizens within the United Kingdom disappearing overnight (and vice-versa).

"We negotiate with the negotiators", he said.

Asked about a possible leadership challenge given the splits in her government, May smiled and said: "nice try, but I'm getting on with the job of delivering what the British people want".

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

But don't worry: His real resignation letter was just more subtle with the clues.

Tory MPs can trigger a vote of no confidence if 48 of them submit letters to the 1922 backbencher committee, chaired by Sir Graham Brady.

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton wear identical shoes for RAF ceremony
Meghan's dress is a bespoke Dior number and is a similar design to the wedding dress she wore to marry Prince Harry . Chris Jackson via Getty Images The rest of the royals watch the flypast.

The politician had not learned his lesson, having previously tripped a schoolboy during a kickabout in London while mayor and having performed some sort of rugby tackle aimed at an opponent's crotch during a charity football match in 2006. His replacement will be announced shortly.

One week later, Priti Patel quit as worldwide development secretary over undisclosed and unauthorised meetings in Israel, including with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Staunch Brexiteer Dominic Raab was named as Mr Davis's replacement as Secretary of State for Leaving the European Union, and a new foreign secretary was expected to be in place by the end of the day.

It comes right before Donald Trump's first visit to Britain as USA president on Friday, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels tomorrow.

"Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Liam Fox (the senior "Brexiteers") are seriously weakened and are no longer in a position to make serious trouble for Mrs May", he added.

Though negativity about immigration has fallen sharply in Britain in recent years, for this handful of MPs, leaving the European Union is all about controlling immigration-and not much else.

In her response to Johnson, May wrote that she was "sorry and a little surprised" by his move after his apparent support on Friday, when ministers held talks at her country retreat of Chequers and emerged with a "collective" position on Brexit.

"The country is at a standstill with a divided and shambolic Government".

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