Brexit: The Foreign Secretary Of Britain Resigns In Protest Over Theresa May's Plan

Brexit: The Foreign Secretary Of Britain Resigns In Protest Over Theresa May

Brexit: The Foreign Secretary Of Britain Resigns In Protest Over Theresa May's Plan

New Delhi: On Monday the Prime Minister of UK, Theresa May deviced a strategy for leaving the European Union in the balance, after two leading  ministers of her party resigned in protest at her plans to retain close EU ties after Brexit.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary decided resign from his job just hours after May's Brexit minister David Davis did the same. Johnson instead held crisis talks at his official residence in central London for most of the day, instead of turning up at a conference of foreign ministers.

This incident has left the British PM badly exposed at the top of a government unable to unite over Britain's biggest foreign and trading policy shift in almost half a century.

The resignations of the two ministers have left a question mark over whether the leader will try to weather the resignations and stand firm in her commitment to pursue a "business friendly" Brexit,  or will she be faced with more challenges to her authority and calls to quit herself.

After Johnson's resignation was announced, the pound fell from around $1.3340 to trade as low as $1.3259, down 0.2 percent the day.

May told lawmakers she appreciated the work of her two ministers while addressing parliament just minutes after her office announced that Johnson, the face of Brexit for many in Britain, had walked away from her job. 

"In the two years since the referendum, we have had a spirited national debate, with robust views echoing around the cabinet table as they have on breakfast tables up and down the country," she added with a hint of irony.

She said to jeers from the opposition Labour Party that, "Over that time, I've listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit. Mr Speaker, this is the right Brexit," 

For May, the resignations have raised the stakes.  The PM may have believed that she had secured a hard-won agreement with her deeply divided cabinet of ministers to keep the closest possible trading ties with the EU, on Friday.

On sunday, when Davis resigned and launched a no-holds-barred attack on her plan, calling it "dangerous" and one which would give "too much away, too easily" to EU negotiators, who would simply ask for more.

A noisy rebellion among the ranks could gather steam, after Johnson's resignation. Most of the Brexit campaigners in her Conservative Party say, May has betrayed her promise to pursue a clean break with the EU.

FACE DOWN DISSENT

But in parliament, her words suggested she had decided to face down the dissenters rather than changing her plans.

In Britain, the European Union has been keen to focus minds. Donald Tusk, European Council President, suggested that Brexit might be called off and  tweeted, "Politicians come and go but the problems they have created for people remain."

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"I can only regret that the idea of Brexit has not left with Davis and Johnson. But ... who knows?"

Less than nine months before Britain leaves and just over three before the EU says it wants a deal, The British Prime Minister has been forced to show her cards that, she will commit the country to pursuing the closest possible trading ties with the EU.

Earlier, her reluctance to let out her strategy was for fear of encouraging exactly this - angering one of the two factions in her Conservative Party that have sparred with each other since Britain voted to leave at a 2016 referendum.

The Prime Minister faced a lot of  accusation from, many eurosceptics, blaming her of siding with the "Remainers" in her cabinet - those who voted to stay in the EU and have been lobbying for a Brexit that would preserve the complicated supply chains used by many of Britain's biggest companies.

They fear a clean break would cost jobs.

Some feel that that, Theresa May's words have not been matched by her deeds, proposing to negotiate a deal which could leave Britain still accepting EU rules and regulations without being able to influence them.

Scottish Conservative lawmaker Ross Thomson tweeted ,"I'm proud of both David Davis and Boris Johnson for standing by their principles." 

"The decisions we take now will shape Britain's relationship with the EU and the rest of the world for a generation. It's imperative we do Brexit right, no half measures!"

The spokesman of the British PM signalled that she would not back down over her agreed negotiating stance, saying May would now focus on moving the Brexit negotiations forward - a step EU officials and businesses have long called for.

"An agreement was reached by the cabinet on Friday and now we are moving forward to negotiate that plan," May's spokesman told reporters. "As the prime minister said ... we have set out our position and it is now the EU's turn to move and that she wants the EU to get serious in these negotiations."

However it is still uncleat if the European Union will accept her negotiating bid on a free trade area for goods.

By also committing to ending free movement of people, the supremacy of the European court and "vast" payments to the bloc, May could be accused of "cherry-picking" the best bits of the EU by Brussels officials, who are determined to send a strong signal to other countries not to follow Britain out of the door.

(Inputs From News Agencies) 

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