Boris Johnson quits amid government chaos

David Davis

If she chose to fight, she would need the support of more than 50% of Conservative MPs - now 159 - in the confidence vote to stay in office.

She will tell MPs it was "the Brexit that is in our national interest" and "will deliver on the democratic decision of the British people".

Those believing that there will be a deal of some sort agreed with the European Union are effectively neck-and-neck with people who think there will be a Brexit with no deal agreed - 37% expect a deal, 34% expect Brexit to happen without a deal being agreed.

She said: 'I am sorry - and a little surprised - to receive it [resignation letter] after the productive discussions we had at Chequers on Friday, and the comprehensive and detailed proposal which we agreed as a Cabinet'.

Hours later UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson resigned over the political crisis.

Yesterday, when Johnson was supposed to be hosting a summit on the Western Balkans, Downing Street announced he had also gone.

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In response to questions about whether the government is in "meltdown", May's spokesman said "it is not".

The resignations rocked May in a week that includes a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit starting Wednesday and a United Kingdom visit by U.S. President Donald Trump that begins Thursday. May appointed staunchly pro-Brexit lawmaker Dominic Raab as the country's new Brexit secretary. "This is the right Brexit".

After his bruising stint at the Foreign Office, even some of Johnson's erstwhile backers have drifted away, and most Tory MPs believe he is unlikely to muster a large enough cohort of supporters to fire off sufficient letters.

"Dreaming is good, probably for all of us, but we have to deal with the real world", he said.

May has been balancing competing factions in her party for years, but with the clock ticking down to Brexit, she had to make a choice.

Brussels has repeatedly warned it will not accept "cherry-picking" of elements of its single market. "But. who knows?", he added, wondering if Britain might reject the divorce.

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In his resignation letter, Johnson wrote: "Brexit should be about opportunity and hope".

He said selling the policy would "stick in the throat" and he could not stand by waving "white flags" of surrender, meaning he had to quit.

If May survives the domestic political turmoil, she still has to convince European Union leaders that her proposals can work.

The responsibility for leading the negotiations should now go to an "enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript", he said.

Bridgen and Dorries are both consistently outspoken, and No 10 will be unsurprised at their stance, but Bradley and Caulfield were not previously regarded as troublemakers.

Mrs May raised the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government to appeal for Tory unity on Brexit at a meeting of the '22 on Monday night.

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