Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Theresa May's new-look cabinet meets amid Brexit turmoil

Theresa May's new-look cabinet meets amid Brexit turmoil

Conservative Party vice chairs Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield resigned on Tuesday afternoon - joining the growing list of Conservative MPs rebelling over Theresa May's plans for Brexit.

"When he says the Brexit dream is dying, he's really talking about the perspective he had on Brexit, but in my view that was never a live possibility in any instance".

His dramatic resignation followed those of Davis and his deputy Steve Banker overnight over May's plans to keep Britain economically close to the bloc.

May met with Conservative lawmakers in a packed room at Parliament, in a bid to calm the feverish atmosphere in the deeply divided party.

He has criticised May over her response to terrorism and approach to Brexit, and infuriated many in Britain when he retweeted a far-right group. He said Britain was heading for a "semi-Brexit".

Yesterday, when Johnson was supposed to be hosting a summit on the Western Balkans, Downing Street announced he had also gone.

"The Government have no doubt that this support will continue", it said. "The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat".

There is added pressure for a swift appointment because the foreign secretary is due to join Mrs May at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Wednesday and take part in the events of US President Donald Trump's visit to the United Kingdom, which begins on Thursday. This is just a small, though representative, sample of deep concerns in the business community about the government's inability to reach some level of consensus on the parameters for negotiations, let alone make any progress in those talks with Brussels.

Davis himself expressed regret that Johnson had quit, and said it would be "wrong" for his departure to trigger a major rebellion.

In his resignation letter, Johnson said that Britain is "truly headed for the status of [EU] colony" under the prime minister's proposed post-Brexit relationship with the European Union.

He was widely reported to have told the Chequers meeting on Friday that putting a positive gloss on Mrs May's Brexit package would be like "polishing a turd", though he later joined other ministers in signing up to the package.

British and European Union officials are hoping to strike a deal on the terms of Britain´s withdrawal and agree to a plan for future trade ties in time for an European Union summit in October.

Brussels has repeatedly warned it will not accept "cherry-picking" of elements of its single market. "So, if we look at her recent appointments it has effectively stacked the cabinet in her favour".

Speaking to reporters at the White House as he departed for a weeklong trip to Europe, Trump said it was "up to the people" to decide whether May should remain in power. "But. who knows?", he added, wondering if Britain might reject the divorce.

The Prime Minister has already received a letter of no confidence by the MP Andrew Bridgen who launched a scathing attack against the leader.

"We deliver that Brexit and we do it in a way that protects jobs and livelihoods and meets our commitment to Northern Ireland".

She said: "I'm looking forward to seeing President Trump not only at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit coming up in the next couple of days but also obviously when he comes to the United Kingdom at the end of the week".

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