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UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson quits as Brexit crisis continues to worsen

posted onJuly 9, 2018

Boris Johnson, one of Britain's best-known politicians, resigned as foreign secretary over PM Theresa May's Brexit policy, less than 24 hours after another key minister, David Davis, in charge of exit negotiations with the bloc stood down from his position as Brexit secretary.

Johnson, a former mayor of London  and one of the most prominent advocates for Brexit, in his resignation letter warned Britain was "headed for the status of a colony" with its current outlook on Brexit, accusing May of flying "white flags" of surrender in negotiations with the European Union. 

"It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them," he wrote in the letter.

In a statement, Downing Street said: "This afternoon, the prime minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary.‘His replacement will be announced shortly. The prime minister thanks Boris for his work."

A third member of the government, Steve Baker, a junior minister in Davis' Department for Exiting the European Union, also resigned in protest of how the government is handling Brexit. 

The resignations came just days after May announced Friday that she had finally united her government behind a plan for a divorce deal with the EU. 

May addressed parliament minutes after her office announced Johnson’s departure, saying: “In the two years since the referendum, we have had a spirited national debate, with robust views echoing around the cabinet table as they have on breakfast tables up and down the country. “Over that time, I’ve listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit. Mr Speaker, this is the right Brexit,” she said, 

Following Johnson's resignation, the pound was down more than 0.5 percent against the dollar and 0.4 percent against the euro.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU afterwards.

With reporting by Reuters, BBC, AP

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