Boris Johnson's resignation letter and Theresa May's response - in full

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2018

They quit amid divisions in the government over Brexit.

The newly appointed foreign secretary was previously the longest-serving health secretary in history and is seen as a stable figure in May's government, maintaining a "studious loyalty to the prime minister throughout her current difficulties", The Independent says.

The ambitious environment secretary remains in government and appears eager to prove his loyalty to Theresa May, at least judging by his appearance on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show where he said "in all the important areas" the United Kingdom would be a sovereign country under May's Brexit plan.

But the chaos surrounding the government will not die down any time soon-the contingent supporting a hard Brexit is more angry than ever.

Those believing that there will be a deal of some sort agreed with the European Union are effectively neck-and-neck with people who think there will be a Brexit with no deal agreed - 37% expect a deal, 34% expect Brexit to happen without a deal being agreed.

Johnson said in his letter that May's plan to keep close economic ties with the bloc means Britain is heading for a "semi Brexit" that would leave Britain with the "status of a colony" of the EU.

"There was a feeling that there's a need to defend the prime minister from somebody who has made a decision for his own benefit".

The politician had not learned his lesson, having previously tripped a schoolboy during a kickabout in London while mayor and having performed some sort of rugby tackle aimed at an opponent's crotch during a charity football match in 2006. He built a public profile on Latin quips and rumpled eccentricity, while nurturing a poorly concealed ambition to lead his country.

"The prime minister knows it's a proposal and not an end agreement".

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

The carefully choreographed meeting last week resulted in a deal May believed her cabinet had signed up to, which would create a "UK-EU free trade area" for goods, governed by a "common rule book". Uncertainty over whether tariffs and immigration checks would be introduced at the border has been a major stumbling block in negotiations between Britain and the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May met with her shaken-up Cabinet on Tuesday as she tried to restore government unity after the resignations of two top ministers over Brexit.

The pair quit the cabinet claiming the plan they agreed to on Friday stuck too closely to European Union rules and regulations.

Davis also said that May's plan "would be a risk at least of delivering a poor outcome".

If Davis' resignation rattled May, Johnson's shook the foundations of her government. Time is running out. The timetable looks increasingly optimistic.

"I think it is right that the Cabinet backs the prime minister and speaks with one voice and if people don't do that then they have to go", Justice Secretary David Gauke told BBC radio.

On a day of high drama at Westminster, Mr Johnson's exit was announced by Downing Street moments before Mrs May faced the House of Commons to set out details of her proposals.

"May is fighting for her survival", Mujtaba Rahman, a managing director at Eurasia Group, said in a research note.

There are no recent precedents for two secretaries of state and a junior minister resigning in the space of 24 hours in protest at the government's central policy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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