Saturday, 15 December, 2018

No 'reluctant conscript', Brexit minister quits in blow to May

No-one’s got a clue about Brexit No-one’s got a clue about Brexit
Deanna Wagner | 09 July, 2018, 11:39

David Davis' resignation as Brexit Secretary just months before the United Kingdom has to conclude Brexit negotiations, is a crushing blow to Theresa May's authority as prime minister and has put the entire future of her government in doubt.

Just two days after warring factions in May's cabinet approved the plan in a bid to unblock negotiations with Brussels, long-time eurosceptic Davis announced he was stepping down in a letter scathing of the agreement.

Mr Davis said "the general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one".

"The Prime Minister is in office but not in power". Junior ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman, have also resigned.

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.

The plans that ministers backed would see an end to freedom of movement.

It had appeared that peace - albeit a fragile peace - had broken out in the British Cabinet following Friday's meeting during which a common Brexit negotiating strategy had been agreed.

But "given the short period remaining before the necessary conclusion of negotiations this autumn, we agreed preparations should be stepped up" for a range of potential outcomes, including that no deal is reached.

The Prime Minister is hoping to win over Tory Brexiteers after a backlash against her plans for leaving the European Union.

Thomas Brooks, a professor of law and government at Durham University told Al Jazeera the resignation was "very bad" for Britain's embattled prime minister and "calamitous" for the country's Brexit negotiations.

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The resignation comes just hours before May was due in parliament to explain her plan for Britain to adopt European Union rules on goods after Brexit, amid anger from MPs in her own party who want a cleaner break.

The 100-page Brexit white paper, due this week, was the subject of a freaky ping pong between Dexeu and the Cabinet Office Europe unit, which repeatedly vetoed its language - and this was the reason for its delay, and the argument meant to be settled by Chequers.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is back on LBC this morning - and will be responding to the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis. It raises the most serious questions about the PM's ideas. "If the Brexit Secretary can not support them they can not be very good proposals".

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, tweeted that the resignation "at such a crucial time" showed that May "has no authority left and is incapable of delivering Brexit".

It is unclear whether Brussels will accept this, after repeatedly warning Britain it can not "cherry-pick" bits of its single market.

Davis, a sharp operator and a gut-instinct politician, was a Leave campaigner in the referendum.

Born to a single mother and brought up on a public housing estate in London, Davis went on to study molecular and computer sciences at Warwick University in central England.

He also served as a reservist in the SAS, the British army's elite special force unit, before entering politics and being elected to parliament in 1987.

Citing previous calls for a leadership challenge, Brooks said he would not be surprised if Davis himself would challenge May or would put his support behind someone else.

After the hours-long meeting at Chequers, May seemed to have persuaded the most vocal Brexit campaigners in the cabinet, including Davis, to back her plan to press for "a free trade area for goods" with the European Union and maintain close trade ties.