Updated: Britain's Chief Brexit Negotiator Calls It Quits

9th July 2018

In his resignation letter, David Davis said the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result

David Davis, the minister responsible for the UK's departure from the European Union, has resigned from his position, causing yet another leadership crisis for UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mrs May had hoped that the Cabinet agreement secured on Friday at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country house, would help her deliver the "right Brexit" for the UK.

The “right Brexit includes an offer to Brussels to share a "common rulebook" on goods and form a new UK-EU free trade area.

Mr Davis announced his departure just 48 hours after being part of the Cabinet that agreed to Mrs May's plans. In his resignation letter, he said the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result and the Tory commitments to leave the EU customs union and single market.

“The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” Mr Davis said, adding that the "common rulebook" plan "hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense.”

"I am also unpersuaded that our negotiating approach will not just lead to further demands for concessions," he added.

In her reply, Mrs May told him: "I do not agree with your characterisation of the policy we agreed on at Cabinet on Friday. I am sorry that you have chosen to leave the government when we have already made so much progress towards delivering a smooth and successful Brexit and when we are only eight months from the date set in law when the United Kingdom will leave the European Union."

Mrs May appointed Dominic Raab, the current Housing Minister, as the Brexit Secretary. He was a prominent Leave campaigner during the 2016 referendum and will now take over day-to-day negotiations with the EU's Michel Barnier.

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