Boris Johnson's resignation a selfish act, says Guto Bebb

Boris Johnson's resignation a selfish act, says Guto Bebb

The UK has spoken of boosting the Commonwealth and forging a free trade pact with India after Brexit, but that will not be easy if Britain refuses to budge from its tough position on movement of people and visas.

Paddy Power already see the wolves circling around May, and have been quick with their specials: "Brexit chief David Davis's resignation last night has ramped up Conservative in-fighting, as a revolt seems increasingly likely".

"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.

"His replacement will be announced shortly".

The President's comments, made as he prepared to depart for a European trip which will include a visit to the United Kingdom, preceded the resignation of two Conservative vice-chairs over their opposition to Mrs May's plans for Britain's future relations with the EU.

"It needs to be about the actual countries, with elected governments that need to get prosperity and jobs and trade if those politicians want to get re-elected", he said.

Michael Gove left no doubt that he would not follow Boris Johnson and David Davis out of the Cabinet, declaring that he backed the Prime Minister's plans "100 per cent". "I'm not sure. That's not on the schedule, but the president makes his own schedule".

"We think it is possible to negotiate independent trade policies after we leave the European Union".

But he warned he felt "very strongly about the future of my country" and said Tories had "real concerns" about the direction of Brexit.

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.

Davis was described as being Britain's "Brexit bulldog", charged with leading negotiations with his European Union counterpart over the country's withdrawal from the bloc.

The latest blow came as the media in London reported that one Conservative member of parliament (MP) has submitted a formal letter calling for a confidence vote in May as the leader of the party.

The prime minister's official spokesman said she would fight any attempt to oust her as prime minister if the required 48 Tory MPs called for a contest.

May replaced Davis by appointing Dominic Raab as the new Brexit Secretary.

"Nor do we expect a leadership challenge".

Lord Hague told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "When it comes to a vote sometime around the end of this year, let us say that Theresa May has done a deal that bears some resemblance to what was put forward at Chequers with the EU".

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Cabinet ministers had "jumped the sinking ship". Steve Baker, a junior Brexit minister, resigned along with Davis.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph she said Mrs May's plan was "catastrophically bad" and a "disaster for the Conservative Party".