Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle has tipped the balance towards ministers who backed the UK remaining in the European Union, following a string of high-profile resignations.

There are now 20 members of the cabinet who backed the campaign to Remain in the European Union, with eight supporting Leave. Previously there were 19 that backed Remain and nine that supported Leave.

The Prime Minister’s reshuffle came after the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who were unhappy with the prime minister’s Brexit proposals at Chequers.

Davis said that the UK was “giving away too much, too easily” in its negotiations with the EU and that it was in the national interest to have a Brexit Secretary who “is an enthusiastic believer” in May’s approach.

Johnson resigned yesterday and accused May of pursuing a “semi-Brexit” and said that the UK is “truly headed for the status of colony” in his resignation letter. He also warned that the “Brexit dream is dying”.

Markets reacted positively to the signs of a soft Brexit indicated by the Chequers agreement, but following Johnson’s resignation the pound fell to £1.125 against the euro.

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By GlobalData

The pairs’ resignation forced May to initiate her second reshuffle in seven months. She replaced Davis with prominent Leave campaigner Dominic Raab as Brexit Secretary, while former Health Secretary and the initially vocal Remain supporter Jeremy Hunt replaced Johnson.

The resignations of Davis and Johnson are the sixth and seventh cabinet exits since November. May had previously ensured replacements matched their predecessor’s Brexit stance in a like-for-like approach.

However, the replacement of Johnson with Hunt has angered some eurosceptics, who have accused Theresa May of running a “Remainer Government”. This is despite Hunt saying that he would vote to Leave if there was another referendum.

Cabinet reshuffle 2018: Exits since November

2 November 2017: Michael Fallon (Remain) replaced by Gavin Williamson (Remain)

9 November 2017: Priti Patel (Leave) replaced by Penny Mordaunt (Leave)

8 January 2018: Damian Green (Remain) replaced by David Lidington (Remain)

8 January 2018: Justine Greening (Remain) replaced by Damian Hinds (Remain)

30 April 2018: Amber Rudd (Remain) replaced by Sajid Javid (Remain)

9 July 2018: David Davis (Leave) replaced by Dominic Raab (Leave)

9 July 2018: Boris Johnson (Leave) replaced by Jeremy Hunt (Remain)

Hunt’s appointment means that the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary all openly backed Britain remaining in the EU during the 2016 referendum. Brexiteers fear that this has tipped the balance in favour of Remain.

Analysis by the FT found that the majority of the Conservatives elected in the 2017 election supported Remain, suggesting that some voters were open to the idea of a flexible Brexit. Of the 317 elected Conservatives, 176 backed Remain — a majority of 56%.

The new-look cabinet has a 71% majority of those that voted Remain. In October, though, Hunt appeared to change his mind on Brexit, telling LBC that he had found the EU Commission “arrogant” and “disappointing” during negotiations. When his and Elizabeth Truss’ post-referendum change of allegiance is taken into account, the pro-EU sentiment of the cabinet drops to 64%.

Elsewhere, Leave-backer Kit Malthouse has been appointed as Housing Minister, filling the vacancy left by Raab.

Pressure continues to mount on May as prominent Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg launched an attack on the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan, and Wales’ first minister called for a General Election.

Reshuffle 2018: current Cabinet and their Brexit stance

Theresa May 

Role: Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service

Voted: Remain


David Lidington 

Role: Minister for the Cabinet Office, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Voted: Remain


Philip Hammond 

Role: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Second Lord of the Treasury

Voted: Remain


Sajid Javid

Role: Home Secretary

Voted: Remain


Jeremy Hunt 

Role: Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Voted: Remain but has since changed to Leave


Dominic Raab

Role: Brexit Secretary

Voted: Leave


Gavin Williamson

Role: Defence Secretary

Voted: Remain


David Gauke

Role: Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Voted: Remain


Matt Hancock

Role: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Voted: Remain


Greg Clark

Role: Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Voted: Remain


James Brokenshire

Role: Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Voted: Remain


Liam Fox

Role: Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade

Voted: Leave


Damian Hinds

Role: Secretary of State for Education

Voted: Remain


Michael Gove

Role: Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Voted: Leave


Chris Grayling

Role: Secretary of State for Transport

Voted: Leave


Esther McVey

Role: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Voted: Leave


Baroness Evans of Bowes Park

Role: Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Privy Seal

Voted: Unknown


David Mundell

Role: Secretary of State for Scotland

Voted: Remain


Alun Cairns

Role: Secretary of State for Wales

Voted: Remain


Karen Bradley

Role: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Voted: Remain


Penny Mordaunt

Role: Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

Voted: Leave


Jeremy Wright 

Role: Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Voted: Remain


Brandon Lewis:

Role: Minister without Portfolio

Voted: Remain


Also attends Cabinet:

Elizabeth Truss

Role: Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Voted: Remain but has since switched to Leave


Andrea Leadsom

Role: Leader of the House of Commons, Lord President of the Council

Voted: Leave


Julian Smith

Role: Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)

Voted: Remain


Geoffrey Cox

Role: Attorney General

Voted: Leave


Clarie Perry

Role: Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth

Voted: Remain


Caroline Nokes

Role: Minister of State for Immigration

Voted: Remain