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Conservative UK cabinet members quit amid Brexit mess

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson resigned his post on Monday over a disagreement on the UK's Brexit strategy. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Two members of British Prime Minister Theresa May's Cabinet resigned in recent days during talks over Brexit. With the United Kingdom officially breaking from the European Union in eight months, there is disagreement over how closely the British economy should be linked to the EU — if at all.

What's going on?

David Davis, the minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, resigned abruptly on Sunday, and foreign secretary Boris Johnson stepped down the next day. Both prominent Cabinet members had strongly advocated for the UK to leave the EU, and both left their posts after May pressed forward with a plan that would keep the UK beholden to several EU policies —  even after Britain makes its break from the union.

In his resignation letter to May, Davis said of May's strategy, "This is a complex area of judgment, and it is possible that you are right and I am wrong. However, even in that event, it seems to me that the national interest requires a secretary of state in my department that is an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript."

Davis added that the proposal May supports "will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one." Junior Minister Steve Baker, who worked under Davis, also resigned.

Conservative pro-Brexit leader and former London Mayor Boris Johnson wrote in his resignation letter that the Brexit dream "is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt." He added that Britain was "headed for the status of colony — and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantage of that particular arrangement."

Anything else?

The resignation of such high-profile figures puts Prime Minister May in a vulnerable position, with pro-Brexit facets considering a no-confidence vote that could knock her out of power.

While addressing Parliament on Monday, May said that thus far, the UK could not accept any of the proposals set forth by the EU, and that "If the EU continues on this course, there is a serious risk it could lead to no deal, and this would most likely be a disorderly no deal.

"A responsible government must prepare for a range of potential outcomes."

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