Theresa May faces guerilla tactics from Brexit rebels

Boris Johnson has criticised British PM Theresa May's plan for retaining strong economic ties to the EU even after Brexit. —AFP  File

Tory eurosceptics have fired their opening salvo in a bid to kill off the prime minister's Chequers plan for Britain's post-Brexit relationship with the European Union.

Worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox was seen to shake his head and mouth the word "no" when reporters asked him on his way out of cabinet whether he was about to quit.

Bernard Jenkin said the European Research Group - led by influential Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg - did not expect more resignations and backed Mrs May's leadership.

Mr. Johnson was quickly replaced by 51-year-old former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, who unlike Mr. Johnson supported staying in the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

In a tweet clearly created to show she was not being knocked off course, Mrs May said: "Productive Cabinet meeting this morning - looking ahead to a busy week".

"I think, and I'm delighted, that good sense seems to be breaking out", Lord Howard told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

May's supporters are now reported to be anxious that more ministers could go and a no-confidence vote could be triggered.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said: "She talked about Corbyn, she talked about the alternative which is delivering the country to the sort of government that I don't think people have voted for and certainly any Conservative voter would be repelled by".

Other amendments would require the United Kingdom to have a separate Value-Added Tax regime from the EU and force the prime minister to table primary legislation if she wishes to keep Britain in the customs union.

"And it would be a split coming from the top, not from the members of the Conservative Party across the country".

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Both Rookie MP Ben Bradley, who only won a seat in the House of Commons previous year, and Maria Caulfield, elected in 2015, resigned as vice chairs of May's governing Conservative Party, citing disagreement with the soft-Brexit announced at a meeting Friday of her full cabinet.

"Because I've already cleared the existing text with Mrs Merkel". "It should be a chance to do things differently", adding "that dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt".

"By October we would like to have a conclusion and reach a good agreement", said Roth, who was speaking at a summit in London.

Asked if he was planning to quit, environment Secretary Michael Gove said "absolutely not".

Speaking at the Institute of global and European Affairs in Dublin, Minister Coveney said there had not been a clear British negotiating position for many months. But he stressed his government will not give a detailed response until after the publication of the UK's Brexit White Paper.

"It is the right Brexit deal for the people".

"I don't believe it was possible to move the Brexit negotiations forward without having that moment when the majority of the conservative party were willing to face down the hard-line Brexiteers", said Mr Coveney.

US President Donald Trump has addressed the political upheaval gripping Westminster just two days before his visit to the UK.

May will seek to put the diplomatic tensions behind her when she hosts Trump on Thursday for a black-tie dinner with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of World War II prime minister Winston Churchill.

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