Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

Howard TerryJul 09, 2018

However, furious pro-Brexit MPs criticised Brexiter cabinet ministers, including David Davis, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom, for failing to take a stronger stand against the government's proposed offer to the European Union, including quitting the cabinet.

Davis was the front-runner in the 2005 Conservative Party leadership contest, but lost out to David Cameron, shedding momentum after a party conference speech fell flat.

He was joined by one other minister in his department, Steve Baker, and there are many reports that Suella Braverman has also quit.

Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leader of the party's "hard Brexit" faction, compared May's plan to an egg so softly boiled that it "isn't boiled at all".

In a statement released last week, Theresa May said: "Today in detailed discussions the Cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU".

"Obviously if the Government and the Prime Minister continue to support that very poor offer then I won't have any confidence in the Government or the Prime Minister".

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC's political editor, tweeted that a former cabinet colleague of Mr Davis had said "it's a personal outburst. he's always struggled to muscle into any of the complicated arguments. he is a puff of smoke who will blow away like a dandelion".

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: "This is absolute chaos and Theresa May has no authority left".

However, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, welcomed the plan and said: "I am ready to adapt our offer should the United Kingdom red lines change".

In his resignation letter, Davis said the "common rule book' policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

He said that felt he had to resign as he had no desire to be a "reluctant conscript" in the selling the PM's deal in negotiations with the EU.

"[Under the agreement set out] we will be a rule-taker, we will not be able to make the trade deals we hoped for".

Hard-line Brexit backers who argue that May should have a clean, decisive break from Brussels, spent the weekend complaining that her recently revealed proposals were a timid capitulation, a "Brexit in name only", that ignored "the will of the people" who voted 52 to 48 percent in June 2016 to leave the European bloc.

Nigel Farage congratulated Mr Davis for quitting and called for Mrs May to be replaced as prime minister, accusing her of being "duplicitous" and claiming her response "shows she is controlled by the civil service".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, was widely reported to have described the plan as a "turd" before agreeing to support it.

But, as a backbench revolt over her Brexit strategy grows, the flurry of resignations signals a clear threat to May's premiership.

It was also Davis who shockingly admitted that there had been no impact assessments conducted in relation to what effect Brexit would have on Britain's major industries.

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