British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed longtime supporter Jeremy Hunt as foreign minister after Boris Johnson resigned from the post Monday amid disagreement in the Cabinet over the nation's pending exit from the European Union.
Hunt, the former health minister, had originally been against Brexit, but said he had become a supporter, calling as arrogant the EU's behavior during negotiations. Johnson was a staunch Brexit supporter.
Johnson complained in his resignation letter May's plans to maintain close trade ties with the EU amounts to a "semi-Brexit," with Britain heading toward the "status of colony."
The "Brexit dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt," he wrote.
"We do not agree about the best way of delivering our shared commitment to honoring the result of the referendum," May said, addressing parliament shortly after the announcement, referring to the June 2016 referendum in which British citizens voted to leave the EU.
"But I want to recognize the former secretary of state for exiting the European Union. For the work he did to establish a new department and steer through parliament some of the most important legislation for generations," she also said.
Johnson's departure comes a day after Britain's Brexit minister, David Davis, stepped down from his post. May has since appointed Dominic Raab to replace Davis.
Davis called May's approach to the nation's exit from the EU "a dangerous strategy."
In a resignation letter, Davis told May that her plan to create "a common rulebook" that would abide by the EU's rules on free trade would leave Britain in, at best, "a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one." He said the plan would make the idea of reestablishing British sovereignty from the EU "illusory rather than real."
May's Cabinet agreed to her plan on Friday after a contentious meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's official country retreat. Davis and some Cabinet members have advocated for a clean break from the bloc, while others support a so-called "soft Brexit" that would maintain economic ties with the EU through its customs union and single market.
Many members of May's party have expressed skepticism over her handling of Britain's exit from the EU, promoting rumors that the Tories may move to oust her in a vote of no confidence. The party leaders were scheduled to meet Monday evening. Britain's exit from the EU is scheduled for March 29, 2019.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump's scheduled visit to London this month will continue as planned.
“The president continues to look forward to his working visit with the Prime Minister on July 13, and further strengthening the U.S.-U.K. special relationship," she said in a statement.