UK Conservatives in Quagmire as Two More Vice Chairs Defect From Party

This is so much bigger than Boris | British politics | For Europe, Against the EU

This is so much bigger than Boris | British politics | For Europe, Against the EU

He says the Brexit "dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt", and that Britain is "headed to the status of a colony", having to swallow European Union writ without "any ability to influence these laws as they are made".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit minister David Davis on Monday quit in protest at the plan stirring talk of a leadership challenge and sending sterling tumbling more than a cent.

Tuesday started as a "business as usual" for May as she chaired the first meeting of her new look cabinet following her reshuffle prompted by the resignations.

The turmoil came at the start of a momentous week for Mrs May on the world stage, with her attendance at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday followed by Donald Trump's first visit to the United Kingdom as U.S. president.

If a further 47 Conservative MPs send in letters it will trigger a vote of confidence in the leader.

The trans-Atlantic relationship has had some awkward moments since Trump's election.

May will address Parliament later to explain her proposal for Britain to adopt European Union rules on goods after Brexit, and is also expected to speak to Conservative MPs.

Other amendments would force Britain to have a separate Value-Added Tax regime from the EU and ensure the Prime Minister has to table primary legislation if she wishes to keep Britain in the customs union. Paddy Power already see the wolves circling around May, and have been quick with their specials: "Brexit chief David Davis's resignation last night has ramped up Conservative in-fighting, as a revolt seems increasingly likely".


He was enthusiastic about Johnson, calling him "a friend of mine".

Conservative lawmaker Michael Fallon, an ally of May, dismissed Johnson's "Brexit dream" rallying cry.

He said the British position is now "a basis for a real negotiation now and what we haven't had for many months is a clear negotiating position". The Conservatives now have 316 MPs so 48 of them would need to write such letters to challenge May.

Other pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers said they supported May and would not resign.

Unhappily for May, his most effusive praise was reserved for the outgoing foreign secretary.

"We'll make everything possible".

"The Prime Minister had promised to do things and in Chequers and ran away from her promises, that all those statements: Brexit means Brexit, we're not going to be half in half out, all the things she had said before seemed to have been swept away by giving into the pressure of the European Union in not having a proper Brexit".

One disgruntled Tory MP even declined an invitation to watch England's World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia at 10 Downing Street because of his unhappiness with Mrs May's Brexit plans. Davis and Johnson initially backed the plan, before deciding they could not support it.

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