Monday, 23 July, 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

GBP to EUR week ahead Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns | RNZ News
Priscilla Morrison | 09 July, 2018, 17:27

Dominic Raab has been named as the UK's new Brexit Secretary after David Davis resigned in protest of "a business-friendly" deal to leave the EU.

On Friday, Davis and the rest of May's fractious Cabinet finally agreed on a plan for future trade ties with the EU.

"Davis' resignation will be framed as not taking responsibility for a soft Brexit but looks more like not taking responsibility at all", one European Union diplomat said, "It is starting to look".

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.

Many eurosceptics have expressed anger over the agreed negotiating stance, calling it a betrayal of her promise for a clean break with the bloc that has raised the prospect that some could try to unseat her.

Tory Brexiteers have voiced concern about the agreement, with the chairman of the campaign group, Leave Means Leave, accusing May of personally deceiving Brexit campaigners.

Davis opposed the PM's plan approved at her country residence, Chequers, on Friday.

But much of the day-to-day negotiation falls to May's office. The Prime Minister looks forward to working with Dominic Raab to deliver Brexit.

George Freeman, May's former policy chief, said on Twitter that a "no deal" Brexit "just got a lot more likely".

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Davis said he had left because he feared the European Union would "take what we have offered already and then demand some more. That has been their practice throughout the past year and I fear, in fact, if anything, this is just the start".

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said she understands Mr Davis was "furious" after a meeting at No 10 earlier on Sunday and "concluded he could not stay in post".

British media reported that junior Brexit ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman had also resigned. But some senior pro-Brexit ministers have backed May's plan.

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.

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.

Mrs May's Conservative Party only has a majority in Parliament with the support in key votes of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, so any split raises questions about whether her plan could survive a Commons vote - and has also led to renewed questions about whether she will face a challenge to her position.

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.

He told Reuters. "If the Brexit Secretary could not support them (the Chequers conclusions) they cannot genuinely be delivering Brexit".

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