UK Prime Minister acts to defuse crisis after chief Brexit negotiator quits

Monday, 09 Jul, 2018

These meetings are normally an opportunity for the prime minister to rally her troops and rarely result in any great dissent from the backbenches.

After a day when the foreign secretary cancelled meetings for crisis talks at his official residence in central London, Johnson made a decision to walk from his job - just hours after May's Brexit minister David Davis did the same in protest at her plans.

A long-time eurosceptic, Davis was appointed two years ago to head up the newly-created Department for Exiting the European Union after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May moved quickly to contain a crisis in her government after her chief Brexit negotiator quit, replacing him with a young euroskeptic and insisted she would press ahead with her vision for the divorce.

Mrs May will address Parliament later on the plan agreed at Chequers on Friday as well as address Tory MPs as she seeks to keep her Brexit strategy on track.

Davis' resignation was followed by that of Exiting the EU Minister Steve Baker.

Conservative MP David Davis arrives at Downing Street on July 13, 2016 in London, England.

"May's Brexit means BRINO - "Brexit In Name Only" - a fake Brexit", said John Longworth, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has repeatedly called for reversing Brexit, echoing other critics such as French President Emmanuel Macron and billionaire investor George Soros, who have suggested that Britain could still change its mind.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a key figure in the Conservative Party's "hard Brexit" faction, which supports relinquishing access to the EU's single market in exchange for full border control, said the deal would be "worse" than a United Kingdom exit from the European Union with no deal at all. "It has been worrying the prime minister's advisers from the start".

It won the backing of one other prominent Brexit campaigner.

That agreement of her fractious Cabinet, at a lock-in at May's countryside retreat, came after companies stepped up their lobbying efforts with warnings that severing ties to Britain's biggest trading partner - as the Brexit backers want - would be devastating for jobs and investment.

So to criticise Friday's plan, ministers would have to resign and immediately give up ministerial staff, salary, and perks including government cars. If May fails to stabilise her party tonight then there is, for the first time, a real risk that Tory MPs will decide that enough is enough. Conservative MPs have repeatedly told Business Insider that there is likely to be a challenge against her once Brexit negotiations conclude and Britain has left the European Union next March.