Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Top UK Brexit minister resigns from government

Top UK Brexit minister resigns from government

The PM faces an acute and immediate crisis as her Brexit secretary resigned spectacularly, taking most of his ministerial colleagues with him.

David Davis, the government minister charged with delivering Brexit, has resigned from the British cabinet late on Sunday night.

Two senior sources confirmed Mr Davis' departure from the Cabinet.

Davis is the sixth Cabinet minister to resign from May's government in eight months, following former global development secretary Priti Patel, defence secretary Michael Fallon, her deputy Damian Green, education secretary Justine Greening, and home secretary Amber Rudd. A Brexiteer hailed his resignation as a "principled and courageous decision", BBC News reported.

Mr Dodds, who was a director of Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit campaign, said it was now clear that all of the United Kingdom would leave the United Kingdom together, adding: "Republicans may be disappointed as they tried their best to seize this as an opportunity to weaken the Union".

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his departure showed May had not authority left and was "incapable of delivering Brexit".

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The late-night resignation was praised by Brexit campaigners in May's Conservative Party, who felt her plan to press for the closest possible trading ties with the European Union had betrayed their desire for a clean break with the bloc.

"The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position and possible an inescapable one", he wrote, adding: "The inevitable outcome of the proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real".

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.

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.

Yet after reflecting on the situation, Mr Davis and Mr Baker apparently decided they could not live with such a soft Brexit after all.

The Prime Minister will insist the plan, which would see the UK share a "common rulebook" for goods as part of a proposal to create a UK-EU free trade area, still meets her Brexit red lines.

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Davis said the plan would "make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real".

His departure could embolden Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmakers - who have long considered May too prone to compromise with the European Union - to challenge her leadership.

May is due to brief lawmakers Monday on the plan hammered out during a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat.

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.

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

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