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U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Resigns Over Brexit

10 July 2018

Boris Johnson (file) in March.

The EU remained unfazed Monday (9 July) by the resignations of senior United Kingdom government officials, including foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis, amid a swelling United Kingdom political crisis.

Theresa May's reaction to the foreign secretary's departure was terse. That plan is now in tatters and her political future appears uncertain. In mid-afternoon trade, the pound recovered some of those losses, last at $US1.326, following the news that UK Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis said he did not expect a vote of confidence against the prime minister.

But ministerial aide Chris Green resigned his position as a parliamentary private secretary to the Department for Transport after the meeting, saying in a letter to Mrs May that she had confirmed his fears that "we would not really leave the EU" under her proposals.

That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.

He was under fire today as even David Davis said he did not need to quit as Foreign Secretary - prompting claims he resigned to further his own ambition.

Johnson's resignation marks a major blow to the stability of May's government, with speculation it could collapse already rife.

But a well-connected source has just told me it could be more serious than that.

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Half an hour later at the dispatch box, the prime minister said she wanted to "recognise the passion" shown by Mr Johnson in promoting a "global Britain to the world".

He went on to explain how the current political turmoil in Britain will work to the EU's advantage in Brexit negotiations.

But she told MPs: "We do not agree on the best way to deliver our shared commitments to honour the result of the referendum".

So, at the previous Chequers session we thrashed out an elaborate procedure for divergence from European Union rules. Leading proponents of Brexit called on her to abandon the deal struck with the Cabinet last Friday at Chequers, her country retreat outside London.

In response to questions about whether the government is in "meltdown", May's spokesman said "it is not".

Mrs May came under pressure from prominent Tory Brexiteers on the backbenches, with ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith urging her to rule out further concessions during the talks.

What does it all mean for Brexit?

U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Resigns Over Brexit