UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson resigns over Brexit plans

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson resigns over Brexit plans
Another leading Eurosceptic political figure has resigned, after Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her softer plan for Brexit.
2 min read
09 July, 2018
Boris Johnson quit on Monday, hours after Davis also resigned [AFP]

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson resigned from government on Monday, hours after David Davis also quit his role as Brexit secretary.

Johnson is said to have quit over Prime Minister Theresa May's third-way Brexit plan, which will see the UK retain close ties with the European Union, something that has angered many Tory MPs.

His resignation came just 30 minutes before May was due to address parliament on her compromise Brexit plan, and hours after Davis - the man who is supposed to negotiate the deal - also quit the government.

"This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary," May's Downing Street office said in a statement.

"His replacement will be announced shortly. The prime minister thanks Boris for his work."

It comes as a big blow for May who is now expected to face a leadership battle from other Conservative Party contenders.

Many are unhappy with May's plans for a softer version of Brexit, which would see the UK retaining strong economic ties with the EU.

Johnson is thought to have been highly critical of the plan and called it "polishing a t*rd" during a heated cabinet meeting.

He was due to co-host a summit on the Western Balkans in London on Monday but did not show up.

Germany's Junior Foreign Minister Michael Roth tweeted: "We're still waiting for our host".

The UK voted in June 2017 to leave the EU following a referendum with the country due to leave the body in March 2019.

The country - and particularly the Conservative Party - remain deeply divided on the issue.

Agencies contributed to this issue.