May stares down Brexit plan backlash as ministers quit

Prime Minister Theresa May to face angry Tory MPs in 1922 Committee

Prime Minister Theresa May to face angry Tory MPs in 1922 Committee

The four amendments to the crucial Customs Bill were put down a day before Thursday's publication of a White Paper setting out the British prime minister's plans, which infuriated Leavers and prompted the resignation of Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and David Davis.

Anti-Corbyn MPs are likely to be annoyed by Davis and Johnson jumping ship, with many concerned it now leaves the door wide open for the Labour leader. Previous year reports emerged that Davis said he meant to "retire" in 2019 and leave the transitional period of Britain's exit from the European Union to Boris Johnson, something later dismissed as a "lighthearted remark".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been named as Mr Johnson's replacement as foreign secretary.

They were announced less than an hour before May was due to face the press alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at an worldwide summit in London.

The Chequers policy, which secured Cabinet agreement last week before sparking senior resignations, includes being tied to the European single market for goods under a "common rule book" and close customs arrangements as part of a new UK-EU free trade area.

Asked on BBC radio about Trump's comments ahead of his trip to Britain, he said: "There's always turmoil in every country but no, no, I think the proceeding as it always does". Johnson said the plan would make it much more hard to do trade deals.

Arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said the "very important" departure would "give reassurance to backbench Conservative MPs who want a proper Brexit that this was being delivered".

Mr Johnson, the figurehead of the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, was widely reported to have told the Chequers meeting that putting a positive gloss on Mrs May's plans would be like "polishing a turd".

Mr Johnson does not pull any punches, saying Brexit "should be about opportunity and hope" and a "chance to do things differently", but "that dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt".

"Brexit will be softened, which is to say undermined: turned from a passionate cry for democratic independence into a bureaucratic exercise of pursuing slow-motion semi-divergence from the European Union while actually kind of staying in", O'Neill wrote.

A leadership challenge to her can be sparked if 48 of her lawmakers write to the Conservative's influential 1922 Committee.

"What Australia wants to see is stability and certainty and we want to continue working with the UK Government on matters of concern to us and that includes a free trade agreement when the time is appropriate". The EU says it will respond once it has seen the details.

For the City of London the plan would propose "a looser partnership" with the European Union rather than original proposals for "mutual recognition" of British and European Union rules after Britain leaves the bloc in March, the Financial Times reported. She said the 27 other European Union nations would "table a common response to those proposals".

"If they do a deal like that, it will most likely, because we'll be dealing with the European Union, instead of dealing with the United Kingdom, so it will probably kill the deal, if they do a deal like that, their trade deal with the USA will probably not be made", Mr. Trump said.

The trans-Atlantic relationship has had some awkward moments since Trump's election. With the threat of more to follow, it could be game over for Theresa May and Britain's entire moderate Brexit plans.

Asked Tuesday whether May should be replaced as prime minister, Trump said it was "up to the people, not up to me".

While May is certainly in a precarious situation, the absence of banner-barer leading the charge for a clear and widely supported alternative position to the Chequers deal makes her relatively safe for now.

Boris Johnson (file) in March.