Brexit secretary David Davis resigns

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2018

U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, one of the most prominent Brexit advocates in British government, announced his resignation on Monday, signaling a chaotic new phase in the nation's already messy process of withdrawing from the European Union.

Johnson's departure came a day after David Davis, the British minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, also stepped down in protest of May's new Brexit strategy that pointed to a more "business-friendly" deal with the EU.

Steve Baker and Suella Braverman, junior ministers in the Brexit department, were also reported to have quit the government last night amid speculation that further Cabinet ministers would follow Mr Davis to the exit.

British journalist and writer Neil Clark told RT how there is now "incredible uncertainty" over how the United Kingdom will go about Brexit negotiations, given a "split" in the party over the country's future trade relations with the EU.

"Brexit should be about opportunity and hope", Johnson said in a scathing resignation letter that was echoed in headlines in a number of Britain's national newspapers.

"But I come back to this point, if people don't like this proposal what is their alternative? I'd have to do something I didn't believe in", he told the BBC.

The reshuffle is expected to continue as Mrs May attempts to stamp her authorities following the Chequers summit last Friday.

If Davis's resignation rattled May, Johnson's shook the foundations of her government.

Addressing Parliament on Monday, May told MPs that she and the two ministers were at odds over "the best way of delivering our shared commitment to honoring the result of the referendum".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has resigned - read his letter in full
May told Parliament in a heated session that her plan was "not a betrayal" of the referendum vote. Staunch Leave supporter Dominic Raab was promoted to the cabinet as Brexit secretary.

Some euroskeptic lawmakers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer such as Johnson, a populist, polarizing figure who has never made a secret of his ambition to be prime minister.

Mr Johnson said Britain was destined for a "semi Brexit" if the blueprint agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers on Friday is delivered.

May said the plan would deliver frictionless trade with Europe and was the "only way to avoid a hard border" between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

So at the previous Chequers session we thrashed out an elaborate procedure for divergence from European Union rules.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May should make way for a Labour administration if her Government can not get its act together quickly. As I said then, the government now has a song to sing.

Tory Brexiteers say the proposals agreed at Friday's meeting of the Cabinet at Chequers are "Brexit in name only". As we developed our policy on Brexit, I have allowed Cabinet colleagues considerable latitude to express their individual views.

The UK and the European Union have been negotiating Brexit terms for more than a year now and have been hoping to agree broad aims for their future relationship in October.

Labour MP Andrew Adonis said Raab's appointment could spell the "death" of the Tory leader, while writer and editor Hitcham Yezza said Brexit has now become even more "shambolic". "It requires them to think again and look beyond the positions they have taken so far and agree a fair balance of rights and obligations".

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