Britain's Brexit secretary suddenly resigns

Pauline Gross
July 9, 2018

However, furious pro-Brexit MPs criticised Brexiter cabinet ministers, including David Davis, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom, for failing to take a stronger stand against the government's proposed offer to the European Union, including quitting the cabinet.

The resignation was swiftly followed by that of Steve Baker and Suella Braverman, who are not members of the Cabinet but were the Brexit Department's other elected Brexit supporters.

Davis' resignation comes days after May and her government on Friday agreed on a "business friendly" plan for Brexit.

"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 said.

The EU is not in a generous mood and views Mrs May's plan as "cherry-picking" from the single market to suit the British economy and the whims of Eurosceptic cabinet ministers. Her... May's government has been deeply divided over the issue of Brexit, and Davis's departure will rock a party already struggling from significant internal disagreements.

FILE PHOTO - Britain's Secretary of State for Departing the EU David Davis delivers a speech on Britain's security relationship with the EU after Brexit, in London, June 6, 2018.

In an ominous warning to the Prime Minister, about 60 per cent of those surveyed by the ConservativeHome website said the deal as outlined so far would be bad for Britain if implemented, and the same proportion said they would not support it.

Mr Russell said the proposals, agreed after a marathon Cabinet meeting at Chequers, were a "step in the right direction".

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The staunchly pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Fantastic news".

May's plan would create a free trade area with the European Union for goods, to protect supply chains in areas such as manufacturing, while maintaining flexibility for Britain's dominant service sector.

Speaking on the Sunday Politics Scotland programme, Scottish Conservative MP Andrew Bowie said he had seen a three page summary of what was agreed at Chequers but was awaiting the publication of the full white paper later this week.

Boris Johnson, a leading critic of the plans, spent several minutes at the Chequers summit spelling out his concerns, saying anybody defending the deal would be "polishing a turd" if they tried then to sell it to the party and the public.

Brexiteer Cabinet minister Michael Gove admitted the plan was not everything he had hoped for, but he was a "realist" and the Prime Minister's lack of a Commons majority meant the "parliamentary arithmetic" was a factor in deciding what could be adopted. Their stand may embolden pro-Brexit lawmakers to make a move against her.

Mr Davis had been on the brink of resigning a few times in recent weeks, but soldiered on because he did not want to risk bringing the Prime Minister down.

"That is not something that this country voted for; it's not what the Prime Minister promised..."

Other reports by GizPress

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