European Union to analyse UK Brexit plan: Barnier

Boris Johnson and David Davis

Johnson followed Brexit Secretary David Davis out the door as a hard-won government consensus on future trade ties with the bloc disintegrated less than three days after it was forged, and nine months before Britain is due to leave the EU.

Despite this support from within her party, following the resignation of Mr Davis a poll by broadcaster Sky News has found that the British people have turned on her.

Theresa May faces a mortal threat to her leadership of the Conservative Party and Government today.

In fact, much of Britain's division over Brexit - which has split the governing Conservative party and the public at large - stems from the June 2016 referendum on withdrawing from the European Union not including language about would come next.

The UK government published its long-awaited plan for Britain's future relationship with the European Union yesterday but was immediately faced with resistance from Brexiteer Tory MPs. "The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find they stick in the throat", he wrote to May.

May met with Conservative lawmakers in a packed room at Parliament, in a bid to calm the feverish atmosphere in the deeply divided party.

In an apparent boost for the embattled PM, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, is said to have confirmed at the meeting now he has not received the 48 letters from MPs that would trigger a no-confidence vote.

When asked whether May would contest any vote on a confidence motion in her leadership, her spokesman said: "Yes".

"My concern is about the policy rather than the individual", he said.

There have been differences within the Conservatives over how far the United Kingdom should prioritise the economy by compromising on issues such as leaving the remit of the European Court of Justice and ending free movement of people.

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Johnson rocked the Government by becoming the second Cabinet minister to resign in less than 24 hours.

Brexit hardliners welcomed his move, with Conservative MP Peter Bone saying: "The PM's proposals for a Brexit in name only are not acceptable".

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has repeatedly called for reversing Brexit, echoing other critics such as French President Emmanuel Macron and billionaire investor George Soros, who have suggested that Britain could still change its mind.

The front page of the respected broadsheet Le Monde says Davis Davis "slams the door" behind him on his way out of the Cabinet and inside says his snub to May's Brexit plan "could not have been more violent". The issue of the Irish border remains a stumbling block.

So far, there is no sign the European Union is ready to change its approach, but officials say they want to read the paper carefully before drawing conclusions.

He said Johnson, May's now ex-foreign secretary, "would be a great prime minister".

May promised to deliver a "hard" Brexit when she came to power, but has since dialed back those aspirations following a loss of her Commons majority in last year's snap elections.

But many eurosceptic MPs are outraged at May's plan, and Davis's resignation letter was scathing.

Steve Baker, a junior Brexit minister also resigned.

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

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