Whether May can depend on the support of Brexiteers in her Cabinet and in her wider Conservative party is uncertain following Davis’ resignation. Brexit campaigners have praised Davis for sticking to his principles while the opposition has rounded on May, saying her leadership looks vulnerable.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour party, tweeted that Davis’ resignation showed May had no authority left.
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, also said on Twitter Monday that “this U.K. government is in utter chaos and ebbing authority by the day.” Meanwhile Tom Brake, a member of the Liberal Democrats and the party’s Brexit spokesman said the latest move in the divisive Brexit process was akin to a “Tory psychodrama.”
Analysts believe that May’s leadership is fragile but that a leadership challenge and possible general election was unlikely for now.
“The underlying politics of this is that so many in the Conservative party are fed up with Mrs May’s approach, they’ve kept her in power because they don’t want to precipitate either a leadership election or general election, but this is a crunch point,” Begg said.
“If the pro-Brexit members of her party say ‘we’re not having this’ they have the numbers to bring her down,” he added. The only thing that could prevent pro-Brexit politicians from trying to oust May would be that they could go on to lose their own seats in parliament should a general election be held.