On Sunday, 8 July, two days after announcing that she had managed to unite her government on a « soft Brexit », while maintaining close ties with the European Union (EU), Theresa May is facing yet another political turmoil. Europhobe Brexit Secretary David Davis quit the cabinet, followed a few hours later by Boris Johnson, UK foreign secretary, as a protest against May’s approach to withdrawing from the bloc. In his letter of resignation, Johnson claims crucial decisions have been postponed, including preparations for a « no-deal » scenario, « with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system ».
These resignations reopened speculation on May’s effective leadership. That raises questions about the government’s ability to negotiate an orderly withdrawal, which could represent a problem for the EU and the current agenda. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he hoped a change in faces might lead to a change in policy.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been named new Foreign Secretary in replacement of Mr Jonhson, while Housing Minister Dominic Raab has replaced Mr Davis as Brexit secretary.
For further information:
- BBC (09.07.2018) « Boris Johnson quits to add to pressure on May over Brexit » https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44770847
- Le Monde (09.07.2018) « Royaume-Uni : Boris Johnson démissionne du ministère des affaires étrangères » https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/07/09/royaume-uni-le-ministre-britannique-des-affaires-etrangeres-boris-johnson-demissionne_5328535_3214.html