Brexit, stage right: how Theresa May faced down United Kingdom government rebels

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

"Brexit should be about opportunity and hope", wrote former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson in a resignation letter to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Some Conservative Brexit supporters are still incensed over what they see as her breach of a promise to break cleanly from the EU.

The entire 29-member cabinet, including Brexiteers Boris Johnson and David Davis, secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed to Theresa May's newest plan to prevent a hard border with Ireland and keep the flow of goods and agricultural products undisrupted...until 48 hours later when they didn't.

Aside from the loyalty which MPs naturally feel towards their leader, many are concerned that Mrs May's removal could plunge the party into chaos, with no obvious replacement lined up, potentially setting the scene for Jeremy Corbyn to seize power in a new general election. In order to oust the Prime Minister as Tory leader, some 48 Conservative MPs would have to send letters demanding a vote of no confidence.

But so far she has stood firm in her resolve to hold on to her leadership and insists that she is confident of seeing through her proposals for a smooth exit from the EU. Europe's most powerful leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, arrives in London later on Tuesday.

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.

Mr Picardo and the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, both explained to the Gibraltar Parliament last week the detailed and intensive work that the Government of Gibraltar continues to undertake in London.

Downing Street confirmed on Monday morning that the PM has appointed 44-year-old housing minister Dominic Raab as the new Brexit Secretary following Davis' resignation on Sunday evening. He said "the Brexit dream is dying, suffocated by needless self doubt". "Theresa May is also to blame, she says "Brexit means Brexit" then produces a deal which doesn't mean Brexit", she said.

"I've listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit".

"That is why we are demanding a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal". A fracturing of unity at the top of the party could test the loyalty of rank-and-file MPs, many of whom have spent the weekend listening to complaints of betrayal from pro-Brexit constituents.

Nadine Dorries, the outspoken Bedfordshire MP, said: "I think that we in this room, while being reasonable, need to feel some steel in our spines". Most EU sources I spoke to believe she will.

The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, which has long argued for Brexit, said May had made "blunder after blunder".

During that campaign he travelled around the country in a Vote Leave bus controversially emblazoned with the claim that exiting the European Union would bring £350 million a week back to Britain to spend on the NHS.

The major issues for Britons were concerns about immigration, sovereignty and the sums paid to the EU. A "responsible government" has to prepare for a variety of outcomes in the negotiations, "including a no deal".

"What the prime minister is proposing is a way in which we can ensure we don't have. friction with our trade with the European Union. and here is a practical way in which we can do that", Gauke said.

"If people don't like this proposal, what is their alternative?"

"If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists - when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government - then I don't see how that country can truly be called independent."