Friday, 16 November, 2018

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

David Davis Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns | RNZ News
Laurie Berry | 09 July, 2018, 17:54

Mr Davis, Britain's top Brexit official, had recently clashed with British Prime Minister Theresa May over plans for exiting the European Union.

Now some Conservatives who are pushing for a hard Brexit threaten that the prime minister could soon face a no-confidence vote.

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.

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

She said she had been told by a source that either Theresa May "dumps" the plan signed off at Chequers or "another minister will go, then another, then another, then another".

Mrs May will address Parliament later on the plan agreed at Chequers on Friday as well as address Tory MPs as she seeks to keep her Brexit strategy on track.

Minister in the Brexit department Steve Baker has also resigned.

Tropical Storm Chris on track to become a hurricane today
High surf and unsafe rip currents are expected along parts of the Carolina and mid-Atlantic coasts through early week. Tropical storm force winds extend 70 miles out from the center of the storm.

David Davis had already expressed unease over the compromise plan.

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.

"May's Brexit means BRINO - "Brexit In Name Only" - a fake Brexit", said John Longworth, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave.

However, he also reportedly threatened to resign from the government on a number of occasions, most recently during talks to resolve a dispute with pro-EU Conservative lawmakers who wanted a greater say for parliament over the final Brexit deal. "It has been worrying the prime minister's advisers from the start".

The midnight resignation came as a shock to British politics, exposing May to challenge by Conservative Party members outraged over what they see as her plan to secure a "soft Brexit" that keeps Britain tied to many rules and regulations of the European Union after it leaves the bloc next year. He played a leading role in the Brexit campaign in the run up to the 2016 referendum.

If Davis and Baker are the only major losses from the government over her plan for "a business-friendly" Brexit that proposes "a free trade area for goods" with the European Union, then May will be much safer. Michael Gove, May's environment minister, said on Sunday that while the agreed negotiating stance was not flawless, he believed it delivered on handing back control to Britain. He called a meeting of the group on Monday.

On Friday, the United Kingdom cabinet supported Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for a "soft" Brexit. But some senior pro-Brexit ministers have backed May's plan. Conservative MPs have repeatedly told Business Insider that there is likely to be a challenge against her once Brexit negotiations conclude and Britain has left the European Union next March.

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