UK's May loses two key cabinet ministers over Brexit row

Sajid Javid

Mrs May has since replaced him with Dominic Raab, while Jeremy Hunt has swapped his job as Health Secretary to take over as Foreign Secretary. His departure adds to a crisis over Brexit that threatens to tear apart Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

Hunt, the MP for South West Surrey, has served as Health Secretary since 2012.

He was named foreign secretary hours after Boris Johnson resigned, citing issues with May's Brexit policies.

Johnson said in his letter that May's plan to keep close economic ties with the bloc means Britain is heading for a "semi Brexit" that would leave Britain with the "status of a colony" of the EU.

His resignation came hours after Brexit Secretary David Davis quit the cabinet. We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told that we had to wait for the European Union to legislate on the matter.

After the Chequers summit, it emerged that Johnson had referred to attempts to sell the prime minister's Brexit plan as "polishing a turd".

The EU definitely expects more concessions from Theresa May in negotiations if she wants what she describes as a deep and special partnership post Brexit.

The Prime Minister enduring a bruising battle today as the two Cabinet heavyweights resigned over Brexit.

In his resignation letter to May, Davis said the policy "hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson and Mr Davis had abandoned a "sinking ship", shattering the "illusion of unity" initially surrounding the Chequers plan.

The two departures seemed to shatter May's own proclamation of cabinet unity last Friday, when she said she believed she had, after two years of wrangling, secured agreement on Britain's biggest foreign and trading policy shift in nearly half a century. They also argued that the proposals breach several of the "red lines" the government set out, including a commitment to leave the EU's tariff-free customs union.

"Of course this is a complex area of judgement and it is possible that you are right and I am wrong".

Conservative MPs talking to The Times newspaper said the two ministers were "self-indulgent figures ... but they are not the majority" in the party.

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