Donald Trump adds to Conservative Party’s Brexit nightmare


On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned from the cabinet of Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I developed a very close personal rapport with him, we worked closely together on many regional and global challenges and developed a strong friendship", she said.

The two resignations have left May badly exposed and raised questions over whether she will stand firm in her commitment to pursuing a "business-friendly" Brexit, or will be faced with more resignations and calls to quit herself.

Above a picture of her cabinet, including her new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and Brexit minister Dominic Raab, May tweeted: "Productive Cabinet meeting this morning - looking ahead to a busy week". (Indeed, any Conservative prime minister who lost their majority in an election called because of massively favourable opinion polls wouldn't usually last a few days, never mind more than a year.) But these times are far from "normal" - and as it stands, it's hard to see who in their right mind would want to take over from May right now considering the mess they would inherit.

There appears to be no immediate challenge to Ms May's leadership, as the Brexit hardliners simply do not have the numbers, and her Conservative Party seems set to weather this storm, despite deep divisions on the issue.

May and her cabinet team spent Friday at Chequers, the prime minister's country house, discussing Brexit policy.

The length of a leadership contest is at the discretion of the 1922 Committee, but the customary period is at least 12 weeks, during which May would have to negotiate with Barnier and the EU.

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Speaking at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Mrs May insisted that her Chequers deal delivered on the "red lines" which she set out in her Lancaster House speech previous year.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the United Kingdom initiative needed to be compatible with EU guidelines and not create extra costs and red tape.

The direct consequences of that, she added would see main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn moving into 10 Downing Street as a Labour prime minister.

A year later, commentators said recent events show she has firmly chosen the moderate side with a plan for Brexit, to be fully detailed today, that envisages close regulatory alignment with the European Union to allow unhindered trade in goods.

"Nice try", she said with a touch of bravado.

"It is the ultimate betrayal of our democracy and people's belief in it".

Many Brexit campaigners still hope for a vote of confidence to oust May, but it is unlikely that they have the numbers. But within 48 hours Davis had quit, saying she had already given too much away to the European Union, and Johnson followed.

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"But the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis, and some opportunist goal hanging by Boris Johnson, has cut exporters" celebrations short. "That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt", the resignation letter stated.

Virendra Sharma, a supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for another referendum, said that a "gang of Brexit bullies are threatening to pull the plug on the prime minister".

Davis was described as being Britain's "Brexit bulldog", charged with leading negotiations with his European Union counterpart over the country's withdrawal from the bloc.

Many pro-Brexit lawmakers are furious at a plan they say will stop Britain forging an independent economic course.

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

Mrs May wrote in The Sun the plan was the only one which "truly respects the will of the British people".

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