Prime Minister Theresa May is facing calls for a departure of her own over Britain’s exit from the European Union, as members of her own party turn on her plan for Brexit.
May’s Conservative government has been thrown into chaos by the resignation of David Davis, the minister devoted to leaving the EU, after he slammed her proposal for the process on Sunday night.
Davis said that May’s plan, which would allow for a common market with the world’s biggest free trade zone and abide by many of its regulations, was “giving too much away, too easily” and would lead to Britain being crushed in negotiations by Brussels, which has long been seen as having the upper hand as the U.K. struggles to decide what it is doing.
May announced Monday that Dominic Raab, a Conservative who campaigned for Brexit and was previously a minister for housing, will take the post.
Davis’s departure has brought to center stage the conflict between May, who opposed Brexit, and its supporters such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, once seen as a candidate for her job.
Hardline “Brexiteers” called for May’s head in a barrage of negative reaction on Monday, morning with Conservative parliamentarian Andrea Jenkyns saying “Theresa May’s premiership is over.”
“The time has come that we need a Brexiteer prime minister,” she told Radio 4’s “Today” program.
It is unclear if Jenkyns and others who criticized the prime minister Monday morning will get their wish ahead of a busy week for May, though reports speculated about the possibility of a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservatives.
The Conservatives have only a razor-thin majority in the legislature with the help of the pro-Brexit DUP from Northern Ireland, whose relationship with the Republic of Ireland, based on the Good Friday peace accords, has been a sticking point in negotiations with the EU.
The opposition is led by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, whose own Brexit leader Keir Starmer told Bloomberg Monday morning that the Davis resignation, along with his deputy Steve Baker, was essentially already a vote of no confidence in May and her “bureaucratic nightmare.”
May reportedly met with Labour members on Monday, a highly unusual step and likely part of a plan to get her Brexit plan through Parliament without hardline right-wingers.
The prime minister is set to defend her plan for a “soft Brexit” to her fellow lawmakers on Monday, and the coming days will see whether the other European countries buy into her plan as well.
This week will also see European leaders gather in Brussels for the NATO summit, which President Trump, who cheered Brexit as it happened two years ago, will also attend.
After Brussels Trump is slated to head to the U.K., though he is expected to avoid mass protests in London and spend time at May’s estate Chequers.
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