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British PM Theresa May presses on with Brexit plan after key resignations

Agencies/London 11 Jul 18 | 12:59 AM

UK PM Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May won support from many of her ministers, including a leading eurosceptic, on Tuesday after two top cabinet members quit saying her Brexit plan was too half-hearted.

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May said she had chaired a “productive" meeting of her government, unswayed by the resignations on Sunday and Monday of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — the face of Brexit for many Britons — and Brexit negotiator David Davis. US President Donald Trump acknowledged that his visit to Britain from Thursday came at a time of “turmoil".Among those rallying around May was environment minister Michael Gove — a prominent campaigner to exit the European Union alongside Johnson before the 2016 referendum — who said he would not resign. With less than nine months left until Britain is due to leave the bloc, May is sticking to her plan for a “business friendly" Brexit. 

ALSO READ: Brexit row: Jeremy Hunt replaces Boris Johnson as UK foreign minister

She looks set on facing down hardline Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party who are livid over her plans to negotiate a “free trade area for goods" with the EU. 

One described accepting EU rules as “the ultimate betrayal". Above a picture of her cabinet, including her new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and Brexit minister Dominic Raab, May tweeted: “Productive Cabinet meeting this morning — looking ahead to a busy week." 

ALSO READ: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quits UK govt in mounting Brexit crisis

Her spokesman said the cabinet had discussed the publication of a “white paper" policy document on Britain's future ties with the EU and stepping up preparations for any no-deal outcome to the negotiations with Brussels.

UK’s Labour party open to Brexit vote if May’s deal fails

Tom Watson, deputy leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, said he thought another Brexit referendum could be necessary if Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal can’t get support.

After months of trying to find a Brexit position that all wings of the Conservative Party could agree on, May seems to have given up, and gone for something that at least 20 — and probably more — of her lawmakers are likely to vote against. Without a majority in Parliament, she needs Labour either to vote with her or abstain, something the party is clear that it won’t do. “We’re not sure if Theresa May now commands a majority in the House of Commons," Watson told the BBC on Tuesday. 

European borrowers may be left high & dry

Borrowers in Europe’s $1 trillion loan market may be at risk of losing access to their money because of the UK’s looming departure from the EU, according to the Loan Market Associa-tion. Brexit may sever UK banks’ passporting arrangements, jeopar-dising their ability to operate across Europe and hindering cross-border money transfers, said Nick Voisey, managing director of the LMA, which represents more than 630 organ-isations. It could also hamper enforcement of European loan contracts because most are written under English law. Bloomberg

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