Opposition to May's Brexit plan grows as Tory vice-chairs quit

Theresa May and David Davis

Theresa May and David Davis

"GBP weakens after Boris Johnson's resignation, as it increases the likelihood of both a no-deal Brexit and an outright government crisis".

Mr Davis, who has been Brexit Secretary since Mrs May became prime minister in 2016, said he had made compromises since taking on the role, but this was "one compromise too far".

"I would be surprised if one [a leadership contest] is precipitated and if there is, I suspect she'd win it", he said.

In response to questions about whether the government is in "meltdown", May's spokesman said "it is not". "The trouble is that I have practiced the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat". He also warned that Britain was "headed for the status of a colony" within the bloc. This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party.

"My concern is about the policy rather than the individual", he said.

Johnson reportedly was more blunt, describing the plan as a "turd".

But others argued that May had adopted the most realistic plan after losing her parliamentary majority in an ill-judged election past year, leaving her reliant on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

The reshuffle is expected to continue as Mrs May attempts to stamp her authorities following the Chequers summit last Friday.

Government unity began to fray within hours. Pro-Europeans want to retain close economic ties with the bloc and its market of 500 million people, while some, but not all, Brexit supporters want a clean break to make it possible to strike new trade deals around the world.

Mr Johnson and Mr Davis could be the front-runners in the event of a no-confidence vote, although other figures may launch bids of their own.

That makes negotiating a deal with the European Union very hard: The bloc has said that Britain can't pick and choose the "four freedoms" (free movement of goods, capital, services, and people) and have an "a la carte" Brexit.

"But, it's day after day clearer, not only on the United Kingdom side but by United Kingdom citizens, but also for the European side in each of our countries, what it means to be in the EU and what it means to be out of the EU". The timetable increasingly looks overly optimistic, and European Union frustration with British division and chaos is growing.

The prime minister's official spokesman said she would fight any attempt to oust her as prime minister if the required 48 Tory MPs called for a contest.

But May's allies fear more resignations may follow.

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".

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