May clings to power amid Brexit resignation turmoil

BBC•GETTYBrexit news May delivered'fake sovereignty pushing Davis to resign claims Bernard Jenkin

Mrs May is still pressing on with her Brexit plan despite the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

The plan has unleashed a rebellion by Brexit hardliners who fear it may prevent Britain from concluding free-trade agreements with third countries and effectively turn the country into a "vassal state" or "colony" of the EU. The tousle-headed blond Johnson is one of Britain's best-known politicians, and one of the most prominent advocates for Brexit.

Britain's finance ministry declined to comment on the FT report, but said finance minister Philip Hammond has argued that the EU's existing equivalence system would not work for Britain. While Johnson was one of the most high-profile Brexit campaigners, Hunt backed "Remain" during the 2016 referendum campaign.

"The government now has a song to sing", he said.

Writing for the Metro, he said: "The departure of two bombastic characters, both of whom have caused constant headaches for Number 10, has forced May into a position that many of her allies have always been urging her to take: one of defiance".

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

Amid warnings the PM will face "guerrilla warfare" in parliament, Mrs May remains insistent the deal agreed with her cabinet following a marathon day of talks on Friday "delivers on the vote that people gave on Brexit". In the two decades since, he has become an established figure within the party, challenging David Cameron to a 2005 leadership contest which the younger man went on to win.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he will read the policy papers over the weekend before making a "considered response".

Boris Johnson has done the right thing... finally.

Government unity began to fray within hours.

"The dream is dying", wrote Boris Johnson of Brexit in his letter to beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May, resigning the post of Foreign Secretary.

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Tory Eurosceptics have hit back at Theresa May by tabling amendments to a key Brexit Bill which could kill off her Chequers plan for future relations with the EU.

But she told MPs: "We do not agree on the best way to deliver our shared commitments to honour the result of the referendum".

Juncker's chief spokesman said the departure of Davis posed no problem, saying the European Union was ready to talk "24/7". Working out how to keep the now invisible border free of tariffs and customs checks has been a major stumbling block in negotiations.

They will demand the government scrap its offer to collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union when the Customs Bill returns for debate - a crucial element of the prime minister's plan for a "facilitated customs arrangement".

When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it will end the automatic right of European Union citizens to live and work in Britain.

But Tory MPs lashed the Brexit blueprint for recreating the "worst parts of the EU" today as it was published for the first time.

A second - supported by the Democratic Unionist Party, former minister Owen Paterson and Labour MP Kate Hoey - would force the government to commit itself in law to avoid a customs border down the Irish Sea.

Asked whether May was in trouble following the rash of departures from her government on Monday, he replied: "No".

But others argued May had adopted the most realistic plan after she was weakened in an ill-judged election past year when she lost her parliamentary majority, meaning she has to rely on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

Why so many resignations at once?

Steve Baker, a junior Brexit minister, resigned along with Davis.

Mr Raab, May's new Brexit minister, will suggest that such criticism was not justified. Memories of last year's disastrous campaign are fresh in the mind and if that isn't enough of a put-off, then the looming presence of Jeremy Corbyn, truly anathema to those in the Conservative Party, is enough to keep them glued together for as long as is possible.

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