Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Theresa May's Cabinet in crisis as David Davis resigns over Brexit plan

Theresa May's Cabinet in crisis as David Davis resigns over Brexit plan

Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019, and the European Union has warned Britain repeatedly that time is running out to seal a divorce deal.

With several Conservative MPs taking to social media to praise Mr Davis' announcement, it is unclear whether the Prime Minister's Brexit plan can command the support of her own party, or if she can avoid a leadership challenged triggered if 48 members of her parliamentary party send letters of no confidence to the chairman of the 1922 Committee. The deal gives the parliament the final say on whether to follow European Union rules in the future.

She thought she had done enough to move on with that fraught process at the meeting at her Chequers country residence.

"And I think without David Davis there, without his imprimatur, it will be very hard for them to get the support of Conservative MPs and therefore the prime minister would be well advised to reconsider them".

He also said "the general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one".

The "common rulebook" plan "hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense", he wrote to Mrs May.

"It seems to me that the national interest requires a Secretary of State in my Department that is an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript".

She will say: "Over that time, I have listened to every possible idea and every possible version of Brexit".

Brexit Secretary David Davis and two junior ministers dramatically quit the Government in a huge blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's authority.

His resignation has been followed by that of Brexit ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman.

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After Cameron resigned following defeat in the Brexit referendum, Davis was appointed back in government by May, Cameron's replacement.

Davis said the Brexit plan agreed at Chequers leaves the United Kingdom in a "weak negotiating position" and that May's "common rule book" on customs hands Brussels "control over large swathes of our economy".

It won the backing of one other high-profile Brexit campaigner.

What appears to have kickstarted the resignations, however, is May's reintroduction of "collective responsibility", a British convention which means ministers are formally banned from disagreeing with government policy, including the Brexit plan.

Mr Davis's resignation will anger cabinet colleagues from both wings of the party.

Shortly afterwards he stood as the Conservative candidate and was re-elected.

Some Brexit-supporting legislators are angry at the proposals, saying they will keep Britain tethered to the bloc and unable to change its rules to strike new trade deals around the world.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet discuss the government's Brexit plans at Chequers, the Prime Minister's official country residence, near Aylesbury, Britain. "I assume he has resigned to speak". It was reported that the former prime minister David Cameron had been drafted in before the meeting to urge him not to resign.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said Mr Davis had "done the right thing", adding: "The PM's proposals for a Brexit in name only are not acceptable".

"It is crucially important as it shows how well founded concerns over the Chequers conclusions are", he told Reuters. "If the Brexit Secretary can not support them they can not be very good proposals".

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