Boris blasts Brexit plan but doesn't threaten leadership challenge

UK PM May narrowly avoids defeat in parliament on EU trade laws

In two votes in the United Kingdom parliament this week, the latest on Tuesday night, May only just avoided defeat at the hands of pro-EU members of her party.

The prospect of continued drama in parliament and doubts over the future of May's "white paper" Brexit plan - which is only a starting point for talks with the European Union - is testing the patience of businesses that depend on cross-border trade.

Davies is in a relationship with Tory welfare secretary Esther McVey, and she is one of two cabinet ministers that Downing Street fears could follow David Davis and Boris Johnson in resigning in protest.

If the new clause, put forward by Conservative MP Stephen Hammond, has succeeded, it would have meant the British government having to negotiate Britain's participation in a custom's union with the EU if it couldn't agree a free trade area deal with Brussels.

Conservative MP Philip Davies has submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May's leadership, saying that he has "lost trust" in her ability to deliver Brexit.

"We can't rely on anything", said Warren East, CEO of United Kingdom engine maker Rolls Royce, who said his firm could start stockpiling parts soon if it looked like Britain was heading towards a disorderly exit from the EU.

Steve Baker, who also quit as a Brexit minister, urged her to step up preparations for a "no deal" scenario.

Johnson denounced the plan agreed as a " Brexit in name only" which would leave Britain in a state of "economic vassalage".

Meanwhile, a spokesman for May said on Tuesday that Britain's referendum on its European Union membership was a legitimate democratic exercise, despite the official Brexit campaign group being referred to the police by the electoral commission over breaching spending rules.

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She said she wouldn't have time to listen to it before a meeting with her backbenchers last night as she would be busy catching up on paperwork.

Also in the chamber was another recently-departed minister - Boris Johnson.

She told members of the committee: "Over August and September we are going to be releasing a number of technical notifications to set out what United Kingdom citizens and businesses need to do in a no deal scenario, so making much more public awareness of the preparations".

He said Britain would end up stuck in a "miserable limbo" under the Chequers plan for future links with the European Union that prompted him to quit.

Johnson told lawmakers that the government had "dithered" and failed to make the case for a free trade agreement outlined in the January 2017 speech at Lancaster House in the heady months after the referendum passed.

'If 48 such letters are sent a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister amongst Conservative MPs will take place.

"We must try now because we will not get another chance to do it right", he said.

Although the government succeeded in rejecting the amendment, Tory Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen said that if the PM had lost the vote it "would have triggered a confidence motion in the government immediately", according to Sky News.

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