Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Economy | By

British Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns over EU exit plan

British Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns over EU exit plan

Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis delivers a speech in London on June 6.

Mr Davis quit his role as chief Brexit negotiator after rejecting Theresa May's "flawed" Chequers blueprint for Brexit.

The resignation of Davis's deputy, Steve Baker, is a serious loss for May: Baker is widely respected among Brexit-supporting lawmakers.

After a day when the foreign secretary cancelled meetings for crisis talks at his official residence in central London, Johnson chose to walk from his job - just hours after May's Brexit minister David Davis did the same in protest at her plans.

Sterling rallied on Monday as traders bet that the resignation of Davis would not endanger the prime minister and instead focused on the government's newly-announced plan that markets believe makes a "soft Brexit" more likely. Many eurosceptics are angry, saying the agreed strategy betrays her promise for a clean break with the European Union, raising the prospect that some could try to unseat her.

In his letter, Mr Davis told Mrs May that "the current trend of policy and tactics" was making it "look less and less likely" that the United Kingdom would leave the customs union and single market.

Asked whether Mr Raab was signed up in full to the plan agreed at Chequers, Mrs May's official spokesman told reporters: "The Government's position was agreed on Friday. The prime minister thanks Boris for his work".


But much of the day-to-day negotiation falls to May's office. "The prime minister can't deliver Brexit and has zero authority left".

"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. "That has been their practice throughout the previous year and I fear, in fact, if anything, this is just the start".

"We're giving away too much too easily and that is a risky strategy", he said.

May is due to address parliament on Monday 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 and businesses who say it may still cause economic harm.

It won the backing of one other prominent Brexit campaigner. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said Sunday that it did not contain everything he wanted but "I'm a realist".

May is due to meet her lawmakers later on Monday. The government is trying to convince lawmakers to back the agreed stance, inviting them, including those from the opposition Labour Party, for briefings on the plan.

That agreement of her fractious Cabinet, at a lock-in at May's countryside retreat, came after companies stepped up their lobbying efforts with warnings that severing ties to Britain's biggest trading partner - as the Brexit backers want - would be devastating for jobs and investment.

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