UK's top Brexit minister quits govt, cites policy differences with PM May

UK's top Brexit minister quits govt, cites policy differences with PM May

The late-night departure of David Davis has raised the stakes for May, who hailed the hard-won agreement with her deeply divided cabinet of ministers on Friday to keep the closest possible trading ties with the EU.

Davis quit late Sunday, saying he could not support May's plan to maintain close trade and regulatory ties with the European Union, commonly known as a "soft Brexit", after the departure takes place next year.

Later, it was announced that Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab had been tapped to replace Davis.

The resignations dealt yet another blow to the beleaguered leader, just two days after she announced she had finally united her quarrelsome government behind her plan for a divorce deal with the EU.

Conservative MP William Wragg, who campaigned for Brexit, said the resignation was "the right thing to do" while Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, who quit a junior government role earlier this year to "fight for Brexit", said it was "fantastic news", adding: "Well done David Davis for having the principle and guts to resign".

Conservative MP Peter Bone hailed Mr Davis's resignation as a "principled and fearless decision", adding: "The PM's proposals for a Brexit in name only are not acceptable".

"It seems to me we are giving too much away, too easily, and that is a risky strategy at this time", he told BBC radio.

"I'm seeking Brexit. The key is that Brexit is delivered properly", he told LBC Radio.

Paul Manafort held in solitary confinement
Manafort, according to his lawyer, is being secluded because correctional officials "cannot otherwise guarantee his safety". They asked for the trial to be relocated to the more sparsely populated city of Roanoke in southwest Virginia.

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.

"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".

His unhappiness in government has been no secret for some time, but after the prime minister's Chequers agreement with cabinet ministers to pursue closer ties with the European Union than he desired, he found his position untenable.

Davis told UK Prime Minister Theresa May that it is looking "less and less likely" that the government will be able to orchestrate a full departure from the EU. "Others don't have that same responsibility".

Davis's resignation may also further disrupt Brexit talks, with less than nine months before Britain leaves and just over three before the European Union says it wants a deal that will mark Britain's biggest foreign and trade policy shift in decades. It vows to press for a free trade area for goods with the European Union and maintain close links. Jacob Rees-Mogg has also suggested other Tory Eurosceptic MPs will follow suit.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, was widely reported to have described the plan as a "turd" before agreeing to support it.

He became the public face of Brexit, leading the British delegation in talks with Brussels, although his role had been increasingly overshadowed in recent months as May and her aides took a bigger role in the negotiating strategy.

Related Articles