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Boris Johnson quits as UK's May faces mounting Brexit crisis
July 21 2018, 08:01 | Irvin Gilbert
GETTYMPs prepare to move against Theresa May after Cabinet Brexit plan published
Boris Johnsonstepped down as the foreign minister on Monday, warning that Britain will end up like a colony to the European Union after the government announced plans for a close trading relationship with the bloc after Brexit next year.
"(It) absolutely keeps faith with the vote of the British people", she said after a meeting with fellow European leaders focused on the Western Balkan states.
"Brexit should be about opportunity and hope", Johnson said in a scathing resignation letter that was echoed in headlines in a number of Britain's national newspapers. He attacks May's plans in terms that, one imagines, were sharpened after No10 purposefully made a statement about his resignation before he had published his own.
The resignations of the two cabinet "big beasts" comes just days after May secured senior ministers' agreement at Chequers for a Brexit plan about which both men had expressed reservations.
The Cabinet minister quit his position, saying "the current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look less and less likely that the government could "deliver on the mandate of the referendum, and on our manifesto commitment to leave the customs union and the Single Market". "It's not even an accidental betrayal, it was planned and plotted well in advance", said Conservative lawmaker Andrew Bridgen.
May´s Conservative opponents could trigger a confidence vote against her if at least 48 MPs support it, but to actually force her from office 159 MPs would have to vote against her - a figure hardliners may not be able to reach.
"The civil war within the Tory Party is a matter for the Tories, and let no-one imagine that Ireland will be the collateral damage for the Tory Brexit or for that matter that we will pick up the tab for the Tory civil war".
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU afterwards.
Earlier, May defended her Brexit plan to lawmakers in the House of Commons, with Johnson absent from his usual place on the Conservative front bench. He said Britain was heading for a "semi-Brexit". Three junior ministers also quit their posts. "Brussels must not mistakenly conclude, as EU Council chief Donald Tusk hinted, that one more push will destroy Brexit".
Q: Why hasn't Brexit happened yet? But MPs from the rival Labour Party attended a briefing on its specifics-a sure sign that May thinks they may be needed to get it passed through parliament. Gauke said. "The challenge is all very well for people to say I wouldn't do this".
Theresa May only has a majority in Parliament with the support of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, so any split raises questions about whether her plan could survive a Commons vote.