Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson just quit over Brexit

Johnson's resignation follows reports that he savaged May’s Brexit plan, calling attempts to sell it to the public like “polishing a turd.”
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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned Monday, deepening the Brexit crisis engulfing Theresa May’s increasingly fragile government.

Johnson, one of the loudest voices in support of the campaign to leave the European Union, became the third minister of the ruling Conservative Party in the past 24 hours to quit.

“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 Downing Street statement said.

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Brexit Secretary David Davis and his deputy at the Department for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker, announced their resignations Sunday in the wake of a tumultuous Chequers summit Friday when May presented a watered-down Brexit plan.

Just 30 minutes after his resignation was announced, May addressed Parliament, thanking Johnson for his work in relation to Brexit. "We do not agree on the best way of delivering our shared commitment to honor the rest of the referendum," she said.

Johnson’s resignation follows reports that he savaged May’s plan, comparing attempts to sell it to the public to “polishing a turd.”

The move could spark a leadership struggle within the Tory Party, with Johnson seen as among the most likely to challenge May.

However, a recent YouGov poll suggests that Jacob Rees-Mogg would likely win a leadership contest.

Nigel Farage, who is a “person of interest” to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, said it was time for the remaining hard-line Brexiteer in the cabinet, Michael Gove, to make his position clear.

Gove, who along with Johnson, was the face of the Leave campaign, is rumored to be in line for a vacant position in the Foreign Office.

Within minutes of Johnson resigning, members of the opposition Labour Party were quick to call for an end to the Tory government:

But with Brexit negotiations already at an impasse, and the deadline for the U.K. to leave the European Union looming, a general election is only likely to confuse matters further.

Cover image: Boris Johnson, U.K. foreign secretary, arrives to attend a meeting of cabinet minsters at number 10 Downing Street in London, U.K., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)