Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Hunt new Foreign Secretary as Johnson quits over Brexit

Hunt new Foreign Secretary as Johnson quits over Brexit

This would give her a clear mandate to continue with her Brexit plan.

May defended her Brexit plan to lawmakers in the House of Commons on Monday, with Johnson absent from his usual place on the Conservative front bench.

If she chose to fight, she would need the support of more than 50% of Conservative MPs - now 159 - in the confidence vote to stay in office.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, an influential Brexit hardliner, was quoted as saying that he would vote against May's proposals but would support her in any confidence vote.

Mrs May surprised many by appointing him to the Foreign Office, a position he has frequently used to forge a distinctive position on Brexit, including by setting out his own "red lines" just days before the PM's crucial speech to the Conservative conference past year.

Davis himself said it would be "wrong" for his departure to trigger a major party rebellion against May.

But while many Brexit campaigners were still hoping for a vote of confidence to oust May, it is unlikely that they have the numbers.

Johnson had been due to host a summit about the western Balkans on Monday afternoon but was instead holed up in his official residence with close advisers, considering his position.

The timing could not be worse, as Britain faces a fresh diplomatic row with Russian Federation over a nerve agent attack, and ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit this week. "Brussels must not mistakenly conclude, as EU Council chief Donald Tusk hinted, that one more push will destroy Brexit. There are all sorts of question marks under this new plan", she said. However, should she survive such a challenge, Conservative Party rules prevent her opponents from making another try to unseat her for at least a year.

It is unclear whether Brussels will accept this, after repeatedly warning Britain it can not "cherry-pick" bits of its single market.

Creating a political storm when he compared European Union efforts to create a superstate to Hitler's attempt to rule the continent, saying: "Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically".

Mr Johnson's almost two years as foreign secretary was not without controversy, with the ambitious Tory heavyweight having been accused of undermining Mrs May on more than one occasion - and making headlines for other reasons. "If not then who knows".

Following news of the cabinet split, former England global and 1986 World Cup Golden Boot victor Gary Lineker was among the first with a football jargon-laiden jibe comparing Johnson's resignation to a "transfer request".

"In his resignation letter, Davis said the "'common rule book policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

Davis said his job required "an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript". "Maybe I'll speak to him when I get over there", Trump said.

According to Prime Minister Theresa May, the ministers also agreed on a "business-friendly customs model" to maintain high standards, but at the same time also allow Britain "to strike new trade deals around the world" once it has left the European Union next March.

Mrs May raised the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government to appeal for Tory unity on Brexit at a meeting of the '22 on Monday night.

Mr Johnson said that the Foreign Office had heard a total of 24 "ludicrous fibs" from Moscow, after the United Kingdom government accused the Kremlin of being behind the attack in March.

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