UK senior ministers were bracing themselves on Thursday for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first major cabinet reshuffle since the ruling Conservatives’ December 2019 general election victory, according to the reports.
The Prime Minister will make a number of changes over the next 24 hours although it was unclear how wide-ranging they will be, the BBC said in a report.
Most of the cabinet have only been in their current posts for just over six months, having been appointed when Johnson became Prime Minister last July.
The UK formally left the EU on January 31 and is now in a pre-agreed period of transition during which it is free to open up trade talks with countries around the world.
PM Johnson said that Britain’s exit from the 27-member economic bloc meant that it will not be accepting all its rules as it opens up negotiations with countries around the world.
Earlier, tens of thousands of pro-Europe protesters took to the streets in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, marching against it.
In the June 2016 referendum, 62 per cent of the people in Scotland voted to remain.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has argued that Brexit has brought about a completely different scenario than justifies a fresh vote.
Senior figures such as Chancellor Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel were not expected to be moved, said the BBC report.
Johnson is expected to make changes at junior ministerial level – namely parliamentary under-secretaries of state – that could see a 50/50 gender balance in a push to promote female talent.
There is also a plan to make at least 60 per cent of parliamentary private secretaries women, compared with just 18 per cent at the moment.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said he would be “uncomplaining” if, as some expect, he is sacked or moved.
The reason for the increase is likely to be the number of Scots who support EU membership and would have changed their minds in 2014 if Scottish independence allowed the country to be part of the EU.
Brexit was originally scheduled for March 29, 2019, but was repeatedly delayed when MPs rejected a previous withdrawal agreement reached by the EU and former Prime Minister Theresa May.
Johnson was able to get his own deal through Parliament after winning the December 12, 2019, general election with a House of Commons majority of 80, on a pledge to “get Brexit done”.
Johnson was re-elected Prime Minister following his landslide victory in the December 12 general election, deemed as one the UK’s most decisive and crucial.
(With inputs from agency)