The road to Brexit has just gotten a lot rockier for Theresa May who’s had three people quit on her over the weekend, the latest of which is her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson:
NBC NEWS – British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quit Monday, just hours after the Brexit secretary also resigned, plunging PM Theresa May’s government into a deep crisis.
The latest bumps on the U.K.’s road to Brexit come just days before President Donald Trump is due to meet May on his official visit to London.
Johnson stepped down after two of the most senior ministers in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union quit overnight — days after May claimed she had finally united her squabbling government behind a strategy on the issue.
The midnight resignations of Brexit Secretary David Davis and junior Brexit minister Steve Baker triggered another round of open warfare within her ruling Conservatives, with some party colleagues calling for May to be replaced Monday.
“Theresa May’s premiership is over,” Conservative lawmaker Andrea Jenkyns told the BBC.
Davis had been a pro-Brexit voice in a government divided between supporters of a clean break with the E.U. and those who want to keep close customs ties with Britain’s biggest trading partner.
His departure could embolden Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmakers — who have long considered May too prone to compromise — to challenge her leadership.
In his resignation letter, Davis said May’s policy is “weak” and predicted it would “lead to further demands for concessions” from the E.U.
May had been due to brief lawmakers Monday about her Brexit plan, which was agreed after a 12-hour meeting on Friday. Instead, she faces a meeting at 6:45 p.m. local time (1:45 p.m. ET) in which she will hear demands to change the blueprint or stand aside.
The proposal seeks to keep the U.K. and the E.U. in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products.
Among the lawmakers unhappy at that idea was Johnson.
Andrew Bridgen, another pro-Brexit lawmaker in May’s party, said her future would likely be decided at Monday’s meeting.
There would be no vote of confidence in her leadership, he said, provided she changed her plan.
“What she needs to do is give up on her proposals,” he said. “There will be a robust exchange of views and my colleagues will make a decision then as to whether they will support the prime minister.”
A leadership challenge can be triggered if 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers demand it in a letter.
Conservatives currently have 316 members of parliament, so 48 would need to join the rebellion.
However, it is far from obvious who would replace May and any successor would face the same political problems.
In the wake of the latest resignation, Brexit architect Nigel Farage is also calling for her ouster:
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) July 9, 2018
Looks like May is definitely on the hot seat as a possible challenge is brewing. Some are suggesting that Boris Johnson will be the next PM:
Ladbrokes: Boris Johnson is 8/1 to become next PM.
— Matthew Garrahan (@MattGarrahan) July 9, 2018
For now Theresa May is trying to own the mess, speaking to the House of Commons about their disagreements but thanking Johnson and Davis for their service:
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 9, 2018