Friday, 20 July, 2018

U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

David Davis says it is with David Davis says it is with"deep regret that he is resigning
Melinda Barton | 09 July, 2018, 08:38

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, faces a leadership crisis after David Davis criticised the Government's approach to Brexit while dramatically quitting as the minister responsible for the UK's departure from the European Union.

Davis' deputy, Steve Baker, and another Brexit minister, Suella Braverman, also resigned Sunday, according to the UK's Press Association.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, claimed May's plans were unworkable and a "fudge" that would be a bureaucratic nightmare to implement, as he called on the prime minister to put them to a vote in the Commons next week. Davis and Baker, both longstanding eurosceptics, decided they could not support the policy, a person familiar with the matter said.

In his resignation letter, Mr Davis said the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result and the Tory commitments to leave the EU customs union and single market.

On Monday, May is due to brief lawmakers on the plan agreed by the Cabinet during its 12-hour meeting.

She said: "I am sorry that you have chosen to leave the Government when we have already made so much progress towards delivering a smooth and successful Brexit and when we are only eight months from the date set in law when the United Kingdom will leave the European Union".

Under the proposals, yet to be presented to the European Union, there would be a free trade area for industrial and agricultural goods, based on a "common rule book" and a "combined customs territory".

He said that felt he had to resign as he had no desire to be a "reluctant conscript" in the selling the PM's deal in negotiations with the EU.

Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leader of the party's "hard Brexit" faction, compared May's plan to an egg so softly boiled that it "isn't boiled at all".

Hard-line Brexit backers who argue that May should have a clean, decisive break from Brussels, spent the weekend complaining that her recently revealed proposals were a timid capitulation, a "Brexit in name only", that ignored "the will of the people" who voted 52 to 48 percent in June 2016 to leave the European bloc.

During his time as Brexit secretary, he clashed with May repeatedly, and his resignation risks widening divisions within the Conservative Party over Europe, with all eyes on whether anyone will be nominated to replace him, or if fellow Leave campaigner and May critic Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will follow him out of the door. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said Sunday that it did not contain everything he wanted but "I'm a realist".

He spoke out after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that "it hasn't taken long for the #chequers plan to start to unravel".

"All those of us who believe that we want to execute a proper Brexit, and one that is the best deal for Britain, have an opportunity now to get behind the prime minister in order to negotiate that deal", he told the BBC.