UK's May names loyalist Jeremy Hunt as foreign secretary

Cheryl Sanders
July 12, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May's government imploded on Monday as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson followed Brexit minister David Davis in resigning over her master plan for Britain's future outside the EU.

Just 48 hours ago, the former Vote Leave leader's position was that while May's customs plan, which would keep us bound by European Union rules in perpetuity, was a "turd", he was still willing to sell it.

"Our priority around Brexit is to ensure that Australia secures a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom that's as beneficial to both countries as possible, as soon as possible", Mr Pyne said.

As the flamboyant public face of the Vote Leave campaign, Johnson's departure deepened the sense of crisis in Downing Street, and increased the chances that May could face a vote of no confidence in the coming days.

And Brady is believed to be short of the required 48 letters of no confidence needed in order to trigger a leadership contest.

As the minister responsible for the Brexit negotiations, Mr Davis was a key voice in the debate in the UK.

"This is the right Brexit", she said.

Christopher Pyne said Australia will have a good relationship with new foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

What has been outlined so far has sparked a backlash from Brexiteers and prompted the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

Some euroskeptic lawmakers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer such as Johnson, a populist, polarizing figure who has never made a secret of his ambition to be prime minister.

"What the prime minister is proposing is a way in which we can ensure we don't have ... friction with our trade with the European Union ... and here is a practical way in which we can do that", Gauke said.

There is precious little time for May, new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, and Oliver Robbins (prime minister's chief adviser on Europe and the real Brexit secretary according to many) to put together a set of proposals to Europe before the EU Summit in October.

Following Mr Johnson and Mr Davis's resignations, two deputy chairmen of the Conservatives - Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield - quit their posts on Tuesday, claiming the PM's proposals would not harness the benefits of Brexit.

Pro-Europeans want to retain close economic ties with the bloc and its market of 500 million people, while some Brexit supporters want a clean break to make it possible to strike new trade deals around the world.

Mr Rees-Mogg, who chairs the European Research Group of Tory Eurosceptics, said Mrs May would have to U-turn on her plans or rely on Labour votes to force them through Parliament.

May, having finally signalled her vision for Brexit, spent two hours in parliament defiantly defending the plans and called for Brussels to engage fully or risk the damaging prospect of Britain leaving the bloc with no deal in place.

Asked whether May was confident that the rest of her cabinet backed the negotiating position agreed at Chequers, which is due to be fleshed out in a white paper later this week, he added: "There is no reason to think otherwise".

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