UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns amid Cabinet splits over Brexit

09 July, 2018, 17:52 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns | RNZ News

Brexit Secretary David Davis acknowledged that his departure was "career-ending" but he told the BBC that he felt the United Kingdom was "giving away too much and too easily" to European Union negotiators. Davis announced his resignation late Sunday. "The prime minister thanks Boris for his work".

On Friday, Davis and the rest of May's fractious Cabinet finally agreed on a plan for future trade ties with the EU.

In an interview with the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Davis said Mr Raab would be "very effective" in the post.

But much of the day-to-day negotiation falls to May's office.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit coordinator, said he had enjoyed working with Davis and that he hoped Britain would unite "around a position to conclude a broad Association Agreement with the EU".

British media reported that junior Brexit ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman had also resigned.

"A wider rebellion, a leadership challenge, early elections and possibly another major shift in the Brexit strategy (either way) can not be ruled out", Citi said in a note to clients.

Davis said Monday that he believed Britain was "giving too much away, too easily" in the exit talks, saying May's plan "would be a risk at least of delivering a poor outcome".

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Denying that he wanted to unseat the prime minister, he said he would now "argue for being as firm as possible".

The resignation comes just hours before May was due in parliament to explain her plan for Britain to adopt European Union rules on goods after Brexit, amid anger from MPs in her own party who want a cleaner break. He played a leading role in the Brexit campaign in the run up to the 2016 referendum. Trade Secretary Liam Fox put his name to a newspaper article backing May's plan, and Environment Secretary Michael Gove defended it in a TV interview.

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

The Tory leader's hard-won proposal was agreed to at her Chequers country retreat after marathon talks on Friday.

Their complaints raise a question mark over whether May can win backing in parliament for her plans if any deal with the European Union is agreed later this year, and some suggest several of them could try to trigger a leadership contest against her.

So to criticise Friday's plan, ministers would have to resign and immediately give up ministerial staff, salary, and perks including government cars.

His departure came shortly before Theresa May was due to address Parliament about her new Brexit plan, which has angered many Tory MPs.

However, even in that event 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.

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