Monday, 23 July, 2018

UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned

Brexit news Theresa May Chequers summit GETTYMrs May held crunch Brexit talks with her Cabinet at her countryside home in Chequers on Friday
Leonard Rios | 09 July, 2018, 09:42

Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned in a crippling blow to Theresa May's government.

The resignation comes two days after the whole of the cabinet met at Chequers to agree Britain's negotiating position.

Conservative MP David Davis arrives at Downing Street on July 13, 2016 in London, England.

In his resignation letter, Mr Davis said he could no longer be an "reluctant conscript" to the Prime Minister's strategy on leaving the EU.

"The PM's proposals for a Brexit in name only are not acceptable".

Ian Lavery, chair of the Labour Party, said: "This is absolute chaos and Theresa May has no authority left".

David Davis penned a deliberately caustic resignation letter last night outlining a "significant number" of disagreements with Number 10 over the a year ago, from being obliged to accept the Brussels sequencing of negotiations, through to the compromises on the Northern Ireland border last December.

"The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position and possibly an inescapable one".

City A.M. reported that he was "absolutely livid" at the latest proposals, which were waved through on Friday with a bullish statement from the Prime Minister.

Yet after reflecting on the situation, Mr Davis and Mr Baker apparently decided they could not live with such a soft Brexit after all.

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An opinion poll found that 35 per cent believe the Brexit compromise agreed by the Cabinet is the best deal Britain will get from the European Union, while 38 per cent dismissed it as a sell-out.

The resignations of Davis and Baker came just two days after the premier announced she had secured the backing of her cabinet for a plan to keep close ties to the European Union after leaving the bloc.

Junior minister Steve Baker quit shortly after Mr Davis - as Mrs May prepares to face MPs and peers later.

"And I think without David Davis there, without his imprimatur, it will be very hard for them to get the support of Conservative MPs and therefore the prime minister would be well advised to reconsider them".

May is due to brief lawmakers Monday on the plan hammered out during a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat.

In that meeting, May had appeared to win over her fractious cabinet and secure approval for her plan, which was to be published as soon as this week in a lengthy white paper that would stake out Britain's vision for future relations with Europe. Michael Gove, May's environment minister, said on Sunday that while the agreed negotiating stance was not flawless, he believed it delivered on handing back control to Britain.

Allies made it clear that the foreign secretary has not chosen to publicly support the Chequers deal yet - unlike Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, and Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group of Tory Europsceptic MPs was being urged to run for leader, with one even naming him as "our Churchill".

They accuse May of backtracking on her professed red lines in the negotiations.

Boris Johnson, a leading critic of the plans, spent several minutes at the Chequers summit spelling out his concerns, saying anybody defending the deal would be "polishing a turd" if they tried then to sell it to the party and the public.

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