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2 ministers quit over Brexit plan

LONDON (AFP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government imploded on Monday as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson followed Brexit minister David Davis in resigning over her plan for Britain’s future outside the European Union.

Johnson warned Britain was headed for the ‘‘status of colony’’ of the European Union after it leaves in March, and said the Brexit ‘‘dream is dying.’’

His dramatic resignation followed those of Davis and his deputy Steve Banker overnight over May’s plans to keep Britain economically close to the bloc.

The departures, hailed by eurosceptic MPs in the ruling Conservative party, triggered speculation that May could face an imminent leadership contest.

Appearing in the House of Commons just minutes later, a confident-sounding May defended her Brexit plan.

‘‘This is not a betrayal,’’ she responded to one of several eurosceptic Conservative MPs who complained, insisting it was ‘‘the right Brexit deal for Britain.’’

May announced on Friday that her warring cabinet had finally agreed to a plan to follow EU rules for trade in goods, raising hopes that long-stalled talks with the bloc could progress.

The truce did not last the weekend after Davis quit on Sunday night, warning that Britain was ‘‘giving too much away too easily’’ in Brexit talks.

On Monday, when Johnson was supposed to be hosting a summit on the Western Balkans, Downing Street announced he had also gone.