Monday, 16 July, 2018

UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns | RNZ News Britain's Brexit secretary suddenly resigns
Ginger Lawrence | 09 July, 2018, 17:52

David Davis thrust Prime Minister Theresa May's government into crisis by resigning as Brexit negotiator and publicly denouncing her strategy as a betrayal of voters' wishes that risked undermining British interests.

In a surprise move, the secretary in charge of negotiating Brexit has announced his resignation, saying a proposal announced last week hands over too much power to the European Union as a condition for Britain's departure from the bloc.

Sterling rose, as traders bet Davis's resignation would not imperil May and instead focused on the newly-announced deal that markets believe makes a "soft Brexit" more likely. Sources close to Jacob Rees-Mogg have always said that he supports the prime minister, and appears to be urging colleagues not to do so....

But by appointing Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab as Davis's replacement, May might hope to quell some of that anger.

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

Asked whether Mr Raab was signed up in full to the plan agreed at Chequers, Mrs May's official spokesman told reporters: "The Government's position was agreed on Friday".

Davis' resignation was also accompanied by the resignation of his deputy, Brexit minister Steve Baker, and another Brexit minister Suella Braverman has also reportedly resigned.

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrives at Downing Street ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting last week in London.

Brexit minister Davis steps down in big blow to May
But by appointing Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab as Davis's replacement, May might hope to quell some of that anger. They say May's Brexit plan would put the Conservatives on course for an election defeat and could split the party.

Even if the prime minister were to be replaced by a more passionately Leave-supporting minister, there is no parliamentary majority for the sort of no-deal Brexit being pushed by May's Brexiteer critics.

"A very soft Brexit means that we haven't left, we are simply a rule-taker", he said.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a key figure in the Conservative Party's "hard Brexit" faction, which supports relinquishing access to the EU's single market in exchange for full border control, said the deal would be "worse" than a United Kingdom exit from the European Union with no deal at all.

"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". Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties with Britain's biggest trading partner. He played a leading role in the Brexit campaign in the run up to the 2016 referendum.

She also said that Environment Secretary Michael Gove is the favourite to take on the vacant post.

The Tory leader's hard-won proposal was agreed to at her Chequers country retreat after marathon talks on Friday.

May's survival will depend on keeping other senior cabinet ministers in the government.