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Theresa May presses on with Brexit plan after high-profile resignations

11 July 2018

She said: "I'm looking forward to seeing President Trump not only at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit coming up in the next couple of days but also obviously when he comes to the United Kingdom at the end of the week".

But former Conservative leader William Hague warned party rebels that voting against the Prime Minister's final deal could result in Brexit being indefinitely delayed or halted altogether.

Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election shocked British diplomats in Washington and relations between May and Trump have been strained at times. He has criticised May over her response to terrorism and approach to Brexit, and infuriated many in Britain when he retweeted a far-right group.

The Prime Minister, on the other hand, has been accused of giving into too many concessions to the European Union in the Brexit negotiations following her latest proposals agreed at the Chequers meeting last week. "Very supportive. I maybe will speak to him when I get over there".

Her plan for a "a business-friendly" Brexit prompted the resignations of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit minister David Davis, but sterling rebounded as investors bet she would not face an immediate challenge to her leadership.

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He was enthusiastic about Johnson, calling him "a friend of mine".

"It's really kind of irrelevant to what we're trying to do, and it certainly doesn't express the opinion of the British people that I've met", Ambassador Johnson said of the balloon.

Brexiters have been irked by allegations they have offered no alternative to May's compromise, which was signed off by her cabinet on Friday, before sparking Davis's resignation on Sunday, and Johnson's on Monday - followed by the departure of several more junior Conservatives.

May replaced Johnson with a loyalist, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and gave Davis' job to Dominic Raab in a bid to shore up her authority. But, after much speculation, Mr Johnson announced he would not enter the Conservative leadership race when his ally Michael Gove announced he was running.

May´s Conservative opponents could trigger a confidence vote against her if at least 48 MPs support it, but to actually force her from office 159 MPs would have to vote against her - a figure hardliners may not be able to reach. Her spokesman said the cabinet had discussed the publication of a "white paper" policy document on Britain's future ties with the European Union and stepping up preparations for any no-deal outcome to the negotiations with Brussels.

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Worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox was seen to shake his head and mouth the word "no" when reporters asked him on his way out of cabinet whether he was about to quit. In response to those comments, May's spokesman said that she "looks forward to showing Donald Trump the UK and talking to Donald Trump about the UK and is confident that he will leave the UK with a positive view".

"What we have now is what the majority of people are looking for which is a sensible soft Brexit whereby the trading relationship between Britain and the European Union is one that is as positive and seamless as we can make it".

Pro-Brexit lawmakers say May's plan for free trade and regulatory alignment with the bloc will stop Britain forging an independent economic course.

In doing so, the Gibraltar Government noted that Mr Johnson and Mr Davis have both been strong supporters of Gibraltar in Government and outside it.

This has angered some Conservative backbenchers, who say it will prevent the United Kingdom from having its own independent trade policy, and they want to see the Chequers blueprint rewritten.

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Thursday's white paper will also set out in more detail May's plans for a "facilitated customs arrangement", which the Brexiters believe would be too bureaucratic.

Theresa May presses on with Brexit plan after high-profile resignations