Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Conservative Party vice chairs Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield resign over Brexit

From left U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump at the G-7 summit  Can the turmoil keep sterling down?
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 19:13

Matt Hancock has been promoted from the Culture department to Health Secretary as the premier digs in for an attritional battle with Eurosceptics. He used to be foreign secretary.

No. 6 Convent Place set out the defiant message in a statement yesterday evening following the dramatic double resignation of the United Kingdom cabinet ministers.

The MP for North East Somerset praised the resignation of David Davis and Boris Johnson and said they had "courage in giving up their Cabinet seats".

May's supporters are now reported to be anxious that more ministers could go and a no-confidence vote could be triggered.

But although she has weathered the initial shock of the resignations, furious Brexiteers have warned that a challenge could come within weeks unless she changes policy.

Stewart Jackson, former special adviser to Mr Davis, said No 10 had blocked his reappointment in the role under new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

How could Theresa May be ousted as Tory leader?

May's personal authority was badly damaged after she called a snap election previous year to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks but instead she lost her parliamentary majority, meaning she has to rely on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

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

The procedure was last used in 2003 when Iain Duncan Smith was ousted as Tory leader.

'Clearly David and Boris have reached their conclusions that they couldn't support the policy.

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Aldridge-Brownhills MP Wendy Morton said: "The Prime Minister is showing the same level of resilience that she always does". He said "the Brexit dream is dying, suffocated by needless self doubt".

He said Brexiteers need to accept that pursuing a hard Brexit would likely fail to clear the Commons, risk thousands of job losses and threaten peace in Northern Ireland.

El Pais says "differences over Brexit break the British government". "He prefers the broad picture, the principles, rather than the minutiae", he said.

But it soon began to unravel when Davis resigned late on Sunday and launched a no-holds-barred attack on her plan, calling it "dangerous" and one which would give "too much away, too easily" to European Union negotiators, who would simply ask for more.

As May attempts to unify her party behind her proposals, commentators said Trump meeting Johnson would suggest backing for his view that May's plans would inhibit Britain's ability to forge new free trade deals.

The US ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson, said meeting Johnson was "not on the schedule but the president makes his own schedule".

"It is also heartening to see that preparations are being made for a "no deal" Brexit".

Mr Johnson even proposed a toast to the deal - and suggested writing a joint newspaper column with Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Theresa May defended her plans as she arrived at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, saying it had been agreed by the government and "delivers on the vote that people gave on Brexit".

Trump has long voiced his support for Brexit, saying it was part of a global uprising that ultimately thrust him to power, and he was at his Scottish golf resort the day after Britons voted to leave the European Union, saying the outcome was a "great thing".

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