Thursday, 21 February, 2019

UK's May names loyalist Jeremy Hunt as foreign secretary

Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 14:45

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, July 10, 2018.

The slated to exit the European Union on March 29 of 2019, kicking off an implementation period that will run through the end of 2020.

Johnson's resignation comes amid outrage from anti-European U.K. officials who are angered by the "Brexit" plan adopted by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.

Under Conservative Party rules, a confidence vote in a leader can be triggered if 48 Conservative lawmakers request one.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, the longest-serving health secretary in history, according to The Guardian, is the U.K's new foreign secretary, taking over from Boris Johnson who abruptly resigned Monday morning. "The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work", said a statement from Prime Minister Theresa May.

Boris Johnson followed Davis in resigning as foreign secretary a day later, plunging the government into more of a mess than it was in already. Three junior ministers also quit their posts.

"I hope the PM now revisits the Chequers statement and realises it is not what the big bulk of the MPs want, it is not what the overwhelming majority of the members of the party want, it's not what the 17.4 million Brexit voters want and adjusts it", MP John Redwood wrote on Twitter. Trump isn't expected to directly address Brexit, nor were he and Johnson scheduled to meet.

May came out decisively in favor of a "soft Brexit", a divorce that would keep the United Kingdom subject to numerous agreements and contracts that govern the E.U., including a single customs union and a single market for goods.

"I've listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit".

Many pro-Brexit lawmakers were furious at what they saw as a sell-out of the clean Brexit they desire.

Tory digital minister Matt Hancock - known for his self-branded social networking app - will now takeover Hunt's portfolio as Health Secretary.

May's personal authority was badly damaged after she called a snap election a year ago to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks but instead she lost her parliamentary majority, meaning she has to rely on a small Northern Irish party to govern.

Julien Hoez, a policy analyst with Vocal Europe, an online news service, believes the prime minister is going to be safe from a leadership challenge. 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".

"Politicians come and go but the problems they have created for their people remain", European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter. "Brexit must and will happen".

"It seems to me we're giving too much away, too easily, and that's a unsafe strategy at this time", Davis said in a BBC radio interview Monday morning. After the vote, he famously said that his position on Brexit negotiations amounted to: "I am pro having my cake and pro eating it". "But remember, what are the options in front of us?"