Brexit crisis solution is a general election, Carwyn Jones says

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Carwyn Jones: "It's beyond parody - we need a different government"

Wales' first minister has called for a general election as Theresa May is rocked by the resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis over Brexit.

The foreign and Brexit secretaries quit just two days after agreeing to her latest plan on future relations with the EU.

Carwyn Jones told BBC Wales the situation was an "utter shambles" and "Britain can't carry on like this".

He said a general election was the only way to solve the crisis.

Under the prime minister's plan agreed at Chequers on Friday, the UK would "maintain a common rulebook for all goods" with the EU, including agricultural products, after Brexit.

To avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, the UK would also offer a "facilitated customs arrangement" by which the UK would charge and collect EU tariffs for goods ultimately destined for the EU.

Many pro-Brexit MPs have criticised the deal for being too close to full EU membership to allow full control of UK borders and trade.

Image source, Getty Images
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Boris Johnson resigned from government on Monday

Brexit Secretary David Davis was the first to resign, late on Sunday night, saying the UK was giving away "too much, too easily".

On Monday afternoon Downing Street announced that Mr Johnson had also quit.

Mr Jones gave his initial reaction to the two resignations via Twitter, saying: "This endless infighting is a betrayal of those who want Britain to secure the best possible Brexit deal."

He said the UK government is "in complete disarray over Brexit".

"We need action now to resolve this chaos - businesses need certainty and the country needs leadership and direction," he added.

Later, he told BBC Wales: "It's beyond parody now.

"We need a different government with a different view on Brexit in order for us to see a Brexit that's sensible and not one that's driven by the internal dynamics of a party that's riven into pieces."

The first minister added: "Now is the time for sensible people to come forward, and businesses are doing this, and say, OK, we respect the result of the referendum.

"But let's get a Brexit that works best for Britain not one that works best really for a small group of very rich people, I've noticed, who are calling for the hardest form of Brexit."

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On Monday, David Davies said the Chequers plan was the only workable compromise

Backbench Conservative MPs met in the party's 1922 committee on Monday evening.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies told BBC Wales that there was "huge support" for the prime minister from MPs.

He said: "The meeting was packed to the gunnels. This was not a prime minister under threat - this was a prime minister in control. There's been a bit of a disturbance but she's dealt with it".

Monmouth Conservative MP and Brexit campaigner David Davies denied there was a crisis and backed Mrs May's plan.

"Obviously it's lively at the moment," he told BBC Wales. "It's unfortunate but I can understand why they have gone.

"The reality is that this agreement that's been put forward represents a huge compromise.

"It's going to be difficult for a lot of people, including people like myself who campaigned for a hard Brexit to accept, but I think we have to accept it."

Prior to Mr Johnson's resignation but after Mr Davis' exit, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb - who backed Remain - praised Mrs May for a "common sense, pragmatic" deal.

Image source, Reuters
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David Davis had reportedly threatened to resign on a number of previous occasions

Speaking on Good Morning Wales, he said: "At the heart of the plan that the prime minister put forward is a common sense realisation that modern manufacturing in Europe will be done along the lines of EU regulations."

Dominic Raab, a pro-Brexit housing minister, has been named as the new Brexit secretary.

News of Mr Johnson's resignation came as a number of opposition MPs were being briefed by government officials on the Chequers agreement.

Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty commented on Twitter: "Currently in most surreal meeting ever - a dry civil servant presenting a cabinet plan to opposition MPs that's already fallen apart while news that Boris has quit circulates room - totally bizarre".

He claimed that the government was "falling apart before our eyes".