Cabinet crisis in UK: What future for Theresa May?

11 July 2018, 12:54 | Isaac Mcdaniel

ReutersMichael Gove has called for Tory MPs to rally round Theresa May

Michael Gove urges Tory unity

Asked if Brexiteers needed to put the PM's future to a vote of the Conservative Party, he replied "it may well come to that".

But she warned that if the European Union did not engage with her plan, there was a "serious risk" of the United Kingdom leaving in March 2019 without a deal in a "disorderly" manner.

Davis himself expressed regret that Johnson had quit, and said it would be "wrong" for his departure to trigger a major rebellion.

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.

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

That inherently means that, regardless of what kind of deal the Conservative-led cabinet tries to thrash out with the bloc, it will be knocked back and hardliners will make it known.

"In my view the inevitable outcome of the proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real".

But leading pro-Brexit legislator Jacob Rees-Mogg said "I don't think a no-confidence vote is immediately in the offing".

A two-year negotiating window closes in March 2019.

May said she now wanted to advance the Brexit talks, saying she had briefed European Union leaders on her plan in recent days and received a "positive reaction".

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May's personal authority was badly damaged after she called a snap election past year to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks but instead she lost her parliamentary majority, meaning she has to rely on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

Leaving Chequers on Friday night the Prime Minister could be forgiven for thinking she had gotten away with it, albeit by the skin of her teeth.

Under her proposal, a treaty would be signed committing the UK to "continued harmonisation" with EU rules - avoiding friction at the UK-EU border, including Northern Ireland.

Mr Coveney's stance on Mr Davis's and Mr Johnson's resignations comes after Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said Ireland must not become collateral damage amid a Tory civil war.

"I don't think we should be distracted now by some of the political challenges that are going on at Westminister".

But many eurosceptic MPs are outraged at May's plan, and Davis's resignation letter was scathing.

There was a crisis in government, he said, adding: "It is clear this government can not secure a good deal for Britain".

But despite all that, former Brexit minister David Davis didn't use his resignation letter on Sunday to secretly tell the nation: "It's coming home".

British and European Union officials are hoping to strike a deal on the terms of Britain´s withdrawal and agree to a plan for future trade ties in time for an European Union summit in October.



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