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Boris Johnson resigns in major Brexit blow to UK PM Theresa May

10 July 2018

Britain's new Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt talks to the media outside the Foreign Office in central London, Britain, July 9, 2018. There was feverish speculation on Monday about May's prospects.

He said: "My principal job is to stand four square behind the Prime Minister so that we can get through an agreement with the European Union based on what was agreed by the Cabinet last week at Chequers".

Johnson plunged May into further Cabinet crisis after quitting just a day after David Davis stepped down as Brexit Secretary on Sunday evening.

Johnson said that at a meeting of the cabinet to decide the plan on Friday, he had accepted that "my side of the argument were too few to prevail".

He added that plans to create a common rulebook for goods and agrifoods "will make it much more hard to do free trade deals" - a key goal of the Brexit supporters.

During the debate surrounding the issue, Hunt said it would likely be his "last big job in politics".

In 2016, following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, Johnson was widely considered a front-runner in the race that May eventually won, but he ruled himself out after the defection of a key ally.

Johnson had resigned, saying the Brexit "dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt".

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"What the Prime Minister needs to do is to give up on the Chequers proposal. which does not actually deliver Brexit", he told LBC Radio.

The MP for for Worcester is one of two ministers left in post at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) after the resignations of Mr Davis, his deputy Steve Baker and the reported departure of Suella Braverman.

He also criticised the new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, telling MPs: "This new Secretary of State is on record as wanting to "tear up people's rights".

But her administration was thrown into disarray within 48 hours, as first Mr Davis and then Mr Johnson said that they could not commit themselves to promote the plans under the doctrine of collective responsibility.

He added: "Since I can not in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go".

"However I don't think there is any room for more concessions".

Mr Davis denied coordinating his resignation with Mr Johnson. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.