Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Iain Dale's Analysis Of David Davis's Resignation Having Spoken To Brexit Secretary

UK Prime Minister Theresa May UK Prime Minister Theresa May
Deanna Wagner | 09 July, 2018, 12:56

Brexit Secretary Davis turned in his resignation arguing he would not be the best person to deliver on the Government's latest Brexit blueprint because he did not support the plan.

The Telegraph newspaper also quoted sources as saying that Steve Baker, a minister who worked for Davis in the Brexit department, had also resigned.

With nine months before Britain leaves and just over three before the European Union says it wants a deal, May has been under intense pressure from the bloc and from many businesses to show her negotiating position.

She thought she had done enough to move on with that fraught process at the meeting at her Chequers country residence.

The resignations come just two days after May secured the backing of her cabinet for a plan to keep close ties to the European Union after leaving the bloc.

May's plan to adopt European Union regulations for all goods and agri-food products after Brexit "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.

"I am also unpersuaded that our negotiating approach will not just lead to further demands for concessions", he said, concluding that his post required "an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript".

May has responded to Davis' resignation with a two-and-a-half page letter of her own, saying she does "not agree" with Davis' characterization of Friday's proposal, instead calling it a "precise, responsible, and credible basis" for UK-EU relations.

Iain Dale revealed what David Davis told him immediately after resigning as Brexit Secretary.

However, he also reportedly threatened to resign from the government on a number of occasions, most recently during talks to resolve a dispute with pro-EU Conservative lawmakers who wanted a greater say for parliament over the final Brexit deal.

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Davis, Baker and other pro-Brexit members of May's Conservative party held deep concerns about her plans for keeping the United Kingdom tied to European Union rules for goods and adopting a close customs arrangement with the other 27 member countries.

It won the backing of one other high-profile Brexit campaigner.

Veteran Tory Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash told Sky that discussions were now being held as to whether Mrs May's plans amounted to a "proper Brexit". May's office confirmed that Davis had resigned but had no comment yet on the reasons.

Shortly afterwards he stood as the Conservative candidate and was re-elected.

This has now heightened the stakes for that meeting as Theresa May tries to unify her wider party when it is clear unity has not been reached at Cabinet level.

"Will others.be able to sell this to parliament?" asked one senior Conservative member.

"This isn't the end point, I'm quite sure it isn't the end point".

Fellow Tory Brexiteer Peter Bone welcomed Mr Davis's resignation, saying it was "a principled and fearless decision", while Andrea Jenkyns said Mr Davis's departure was "fantastic news" and hailed Mr Baker as "another courageous and principled MP".

Conservative MP Peter Bone said Davis had "done the right thing", adding: "The PM's proposals for a Brexit in name only are not acceptable".