UK to publish PM May’s Brexit plan that eurosceptic ministers protested against

12 July, 2018, 13:59 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Boris Johnson has criticised British PM Theresa May's plan for retaining strong economic ties to the EU even after Brexit. —AFP  File

Theresa May thinks the opening offer to Brussels she agreed is "strong and ambitious", but it was so repellent to David Davis, Boris Johnson, Steve Baker, Conor Burns and Chris Green that they all had to leave her government over it.

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Only 14 per cent of readers have given their backing to the Chequers deal, which Mr Johnson said amounted to a betrayal of the European Union referendum vote.

Allies of the Prime Minister said that just six MPs expressed dissent in the course of the meeting.

"This is the right approach - for both the United Kingdom and for the EU".

Mrs May is pressing on with her Brexit plan, shrugging off the resignations of two senior ministers and the anger of eurosceptic lawmakers in her Conservative Party who have accused her of betraying her pledge of a clean break with the EU.

Asked on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) whether May should be replaced as prime minister, Trump said it was "up to the people, not up to me".

"Top-level cabinet resignations usually spell trouble for a government and Boris Johnson's might well have led to a leadership challenge, but May appears to have emerged unscathed from a meeting of her party, for now", said Al Jazeera's Jonah Hill, reporting from London.

"We need to rise to the challenge and grasp the opportunities" of Brexit, said Raab, adding that the policy represented a "balance".

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In the pro-Conservative Spectator magazine, Brendan O'Neill wrote that there had been "a Remainer coup" - a reference to Johnson's replacement Jeremy Hunt, who also supported staying in the European Union but says he has now changed his mind.

The latest blow came as the media in London reported that one Conservative member of parliament (MP) has submitted a formal letter calling for a confidence vote in May as the leader of the party.

He said the British position is now "a basis for a real negotiation now and what we haven't had for many months is a clear negotiating position".

The ex-MP said there was a "plan" to curtail the role of the Brexit department. The Conservatives now have 316 MPs so 48 of them would need to write such letters to challenge May.

Unhappily for May, his most effusive praise was reserved for the outgoing foreign secretary.

A week ago Britain had strict red lines on Brexit, pro-EU lawmakers were "traitors" and the plan for Britain's future ties with the European Union after leaving the bloc were a jumble of platitudes and overweening ambition.

"We deliver that Brexit and we do it in a way that protects jobs and livelihoods and meets our commitment to Northern Ireland", she said.

Brexit cheerleader Johnson then delivered a stunning second blow when he also marched out, triggering speculation that May could face an imminent leadership contest.

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