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After quitting, Boris Johnson says Brexit 'dream is dying'

After quitting, Boris Johnson says Brexit 'dream is dying'

"I am sorry - and a little surprised - to receive (the letter) after the productive discussions we had at Chequers on Friday, and the comprehensive and detailed proposal which we agreed as a cabinet", May said in her reply to Johnson.

Theresa May raised the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government to appeal for Tory unity on Brexit.

"Brexit should be about opportunity and hope".

Under Conservative Party rules, a confidence vote in a leader can be triggered if 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers - now 48 - write a letter requesting one.

"On the one hand, it's true what Downing Street says", one European Union source told me.

Fianna Fail's Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers said the double resignation was of "grave concern" but urged the British Government to continue with its plan to publish the white paper this week.

During a day packed with high-profile Cabinet departures, she also faced down her Conservative party's powerful 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, amid rumours they were close to getting the 48 signatures needed to trigger a no-confidence vote that could have removed her as Prime Minister.

Many see him as a future leader of the Conservatives and as a prominent Leaver he could stop the rush to topple the prime minister from the Brexit wing of the party.

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Party rules say that there can be no further challenge for 12 months, making biding time an attractive option if they are convinced May will come unstuck negotiating a soft Brexit deal they find unpalatable.

With 316 Conservative MPs in the House of Commons, Sir Graham must receive 48 letters to call a ballot.

Asked whether May would contest a no-confidence vote, a Downing Street source said simply: "Yes". He has served as health secretary since 2012.

Describing the Queen being greeted in Commonwealth countries by "flag-waving piccaninnies", a derogatory term for black children, and then-prime minister Tony Blair being met by "tribal warriors" with "watermelon smiles" while on a trip to the Congo.

There is added pressure for a swift appointment because the foreign secretary is due to join Mrs May at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Wednesday and take part in the events of US President Donald Trump's visit to the United Kingdom, which begins on Thursday.

Mr Johnson was the figurehead of the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, but dramatically pulled away from an expected leadership bid after losing the support of fellow minister Michael Gove.

Other pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers said they supported May and would not resign. "The Prime Minister can't deliver Brexit and has zero authority left".

Now, Downing Street believes that the hot water the prime minister is in today will shock European Union leaders into realising they need to start compromising themselves - not just perpetually demanding capitulations on the UK's red lines.


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