Dominic Raab appointed new Brexit Secretary

Howard TerryJul 12, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May's "Project Brexit" - the United Kingdom's planned withdrawal from the European Union - is in disarray following the resignation of two top Cabinet members, which also represented the greatest challenge to her authority yet.

The Chequers proposals, which have yet to be negotiated with the European Union, prompted the resignations of Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and David Davis, the Brexit secretary, who both said they could not support them.

Tuesday started as a "business as usual" for May as she chaired the first meeting of her new look cabinet following her reshuffle prompted by the resignations.

US President Donald Trump has addressed the political upheaval gripping Westminster just two days before his visit to the UK.

The trans-Atlantic relationship has had some awkward moments since Trump's election.

Johnson criticised the Brexit blueprint in private but has so far refrained from public comment.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May commences a meeting with her cabinet to discuss the government's Brexit plans at Chequers, the Prime Minister's official country residence, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 6, 2018.

Mr Corbyn called for a government capable of "governing and negotiating for Britain", adding: "For the good of this country and its people, the Government needs to get its act together and do it quickly and if it can't, make way for those who can".

"I like Boris Johnson, I've always liked him".

He was enthusiastic about Johnson, calling him "a friend of mine".

On Tuesday, the president described Johnson as a "friend" who had been "very nice to me, very supportive", even though when Trump suggested in 2015 London had police no-go zones, Johnson, then the capital's mayor, quipped he feared going to NY because of "the real risk of meeting Donald Trump".

Conservative lawmaker Michael Fallon, an ally of May, dismissed Johnson's "Brexit dream" rallying cry. He's been very, very nice to me, very supportive.

It remained unclear whether Tory Brexiteers can muster the 48 signatures they need to trigger a no confidence vote in Mrs May.

"We need consistency in government where the housing brief is concerned".

Other pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers said they supported May and would not resign.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the Chequers agreement was created to be a "credible offer" to Brussels to allow negotiations to make progress.

But others argued May had adopted the most realistic plan after she was weakened in an ill-judged election previous year when she lost her parliamentary majority, meaning she has to rely on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

"I've listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit".

Trump, answering a reporter's question about whether May would stay in power, said: "That's up to the people".

The Sun, Britain's top-selling newspaper, which has long argued for Brexit, said May had made "blunder after blunder". Davis and Johnson initially backed the plan, before deciding they could not support it.

And the need to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - which is part of the European Union - are not an "inconvenient detail, it's a fundamental part of ending centuries of conflict in the British Isles", he said. The British government is due to publish a detailed version of the plans on Thursday.

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