United Kingdom govt into crisis as Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

Howard TerryJul 09, 2018

Representatives for the remaining 27-member states admitted that Mr Davis had been frozen out of the negotiations long ago in favour of Theresa May's top Brexit civil servant Oliver Robbins and that his departure would make little practical difference to the talks.

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned late last night.

Their complaints raise a question mark over whether May can win backing in parliament for her plans if any deal with the European Union is agreed later this year, and some suggest several of them could try to trigger a leadership contest against her.

Davis' resignation was also accompanied by the resignation of his deputy, Brexit minister Steve Baker, according to the Telegraph.

"It seems to me we are giving too much away, too easily, and that is a unsafe strategy at this time", he told BBC radio.

If a picture emerges that suggests a significantly harder or softer Brexit will result from the resignation of Davis and any others that follow then larger movements in sterling or the United Kingdom stock market would be likely, but that is not the case at this point.

"I'm seeking Brexit. The key is that Brexit is delivered properly", he told LBC Radio.

Davis himself on Monday said that he would not support a leadership challenge against May, who is a long-term ally.

He told BBC 5 Live: "These proposals will have to come to the House of Commons in legislation and the question is 'will they command support from Conservative MPs?'".

His unhappiness in government has been no secret for some time, but after the prime minister's Chequers agreement with cabinet ministers to pursue closer ties with the European Union than he desired, he found his position untenable.

May said her cabinet also agreed to negotiate for regulations for industrial and agri-food goods, ending the free movement of people, the supremacy of the European court and "vast" payments to the bloc. "Others don't have that same responsibility".

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis, who is responsible for negotiating the UK's departure from the European Union, resigned on Sunday.

But Davis had expressed his unease over a compromise plan right up until the eve of the meeting, writing a letter to May describing her proposal to ease trade and give Britain more freedom to set tariffs as "unworkable".

Brexit supporters argue that the move to follow the EU's rule book on trade will hamper the UK's ability to strike trade deals around the world, and will keep the country subservient to Brussels.

Asked whether he would support a leadership challenge against Prime Minister May, Rees-Mogg refused to rule out the prospect but said a change in policy was more important than a change in leadership.

Some Brexiteers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer, such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who in the past has disagreed publicly with his boss.

He became the public face of Brexit, leading the British delegation in talks with Brussels, although his role had been increasingly overshadowed in recent months as May and her aides took a bigger role in the negotiating strategy.

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