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UK Government in crisis as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quits

10 July 2018

Theresa May will fight any attempt to unseat her through a vote of no confidence by Conservative MPs, Downing Street has said.

Boris Johnson has resigned from his position as British foreign secretary in a fresh blow for prime minister Theresa May's government. While International Development Secretary Penny Morduant immediately welcomed the decision saying Rabb is "highly capable, across the issues, attention to detail, Leave supporter and pragmatist", others said Davis' resignation has plunged Britain into "absolute chaos".

Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan has more.

Britain's Secretary of State for Departing the EU David Davis delivers a speech on Britain's security relationship with the EU after Brexit, in London, June 6, 2018.

His decision to walk followed that of Brexit minister David Davis, leading to open speculation about whether Prime Minister Theresa May could face a leadership challenge.

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Johnson's resignation - more perilous for May given his seniority in government - came Monday afternoon local time, just before the Prime Minister was due to make a scheduled statement in Parliament.

He went on to explain how the current political turmoil in Britain will work to the EU's advantage in Brexit negotiations.

Mrs May told MPs that the plan agreed by the cabinet at Chequers was the basis of a "responsible and credible" offer to restart renegotiations with the EU.

Under her proposal, a treaty would be signed committing the UK to "continued harmonisation" with EU rules - avoiding friction at the UK-EU border, including Northern Ireland.

But Parliament would oversee the UK's trade policy and have the ability to "choose" to diverge from the European Union rules.

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What was the reaction in the Commons?

As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing.

The resignations of two of her most senior Cabinet ministers comes amid growing talk of a leadership challenge.

United Kingdom housing minister Dominic Raab was appointed as the UK's chief Brexit negotiator a few hours after Davis's announcement.

The UK and the European Union have been negotiating Brexit terms for more than a year now and have been hoping to agree broad aims for their future relationship in October.

Newly appointed Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.

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UK Government in crisis as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quits