'We do not agree' on Brexit plan with outgoing ministers: May

'We do not agree' on Brexit plan with outgoing ministers: May

Theresa May parliament Jul 9
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaking in the House of Commons on Brexit in London on Jul 9, 2018. (Image: AFP)

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to her outgoing foreign and Brexit ministers on Monday (Jul 9) but told Parliament she and they "do not agree" on the best way forward in the negotiations.

"We do not agree about the best way of delivering our shared commitment to honouring the result of the (2016) referendum," May said after the departure of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Minister David Davis put her government on the line.

May told Parliament in a heated session that her plan was "not a betrayal" of the referendum vote. 

She also said that the government had no intention of extending Article 50, which is a notice of intention to leave the European Union, and that there will not be a second national vote on this Brexit deal. 

She added that Britain must be free to protect its leading position in the services sector, including finance, after it leaves the European Union.

Johnson quit on Monday over May's plan for Brexit, which includes a free-trade area for goods but little detail on the approach to services.

"We believe it is important to maintain more flexibility in how we're dealing with services," May told Parliament.

"On services, we want to be free to ensure that we are able to put in place what we believe is necessary to maintain our key position in services, not least on the financial services."

In a statement, May's spokesman said the prime minister will fight any attempt to oust her. The spokesman also confirmed that May "hopes" to name a new foreign minister on Monday night. 

When asked whether May would contest any vote on a confidence motion in her leadership, her spokesman said: "Yes." 

In response to questions about whether the government is in "meltdown", May's spokesman said "it is not". 

Source: Agencies/zl

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