Tory rebel demands unity government over Brexit shambles

Posted July 20, 2018

May's plans for exiting the European Union were narrowly approved by the House of Commons in a series of votes this week, but only after she bowed to Brexit hardliners led by Jacob Rees-Mogg to salvage her program.

Donald Trump on his visit to the United Kingdom last week said Johnson would make "a great prime minister".

But having trusted the Prime Minister to deliver on her "Brexit means Brexit" promise, he now finds her latest proposals unacceptable.

The latest squabbling over Brexit has renewed speculation about a possible leadership challenge for May, who has had a particularly rough few weeks with high-profile resignations, knife-edge votes in the House of Commons, and criticism of her Brexit plans from both those who want to remain in the European Union and those who want to leave.

With the ruling Conservative party deeply divided over Brexit, Johnson said he backed the Prime Minister but savaged her Brexit policy saying it would leave Britain in a "miserable, permanent limbo".

The government avoided defeat when MPs voted against by 307 votes to 301 against a proposal by Remain-supporting members of her Conservative party that would have significantly undermined her Brexit strategy.

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"It is not too late to save Brexit", former British foreign minister Boris Johnson said during his resignation speech in the Commons on Wednesday.

"We dithered and we burned through our negotiating capital", he told MPs.

Mr Johnson quit Mrs May's Cabinet on Monday last week, declaring that the plans for the UK's post-Brexit relations with Europe which she set out at Chequers would leave Britain a "colony".

One in a series of knife-edge Brexit votes yesterday, the amendment to the trade bill put forward by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas would have required all new free trade deals to be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny and consent.

Explaining that the two states already have the same rules and laws, the Tory MP told the BBC: "The only reason we wouldn't come to a free and open agreement is because politics gets in the way of economics".

"It is as though a fog of self-doubt has descended", Johnson said.

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Downing Street rejected calls for a national unity government and a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said Labour would not back such a move.

The government said being part of an EU customs union would prevent it from striking global trade deals, won the vote by 307 to 301, a slim majority for May of just 6.

In an interview with the BBC, the company's global external manufacturing, Juliette White, said it is preparing to set up duplicate labs in the United Kingdom and European Union, and now has more than 30 people working on preparations for Brexit.

"I think so today".

An unconvincing election victory and lingering Brexit anxieties have been exacerbated by Michael Fallon's recent Cabinet resignation; while Priti Patel and Boris Johnson have also made serious mistakes.

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