Amid rumours of a leadership challenge by hardline Tory Brexiteers, the MP wrote that plans approved by ministers at Chequers put the UK “in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one”.
May on the brink: PM is plunged into crisis after David Davis QUITS saying his ‘conscience’ would not let him push through her ‘weak’ Brexit plan amid rumours Boris Johnson could deal the killer blow.
Minister in charge of negotiating Brexit resigned at midnight over Theresa May’s plans for the UK’s exit
Mr Davis said her policies announced at Chequers would leave UK in a ‘weak’ negotiating position with EU.
Mrs May responded by saying: ‘I do not agree with your characterisation of the policy we agreed’
Junior Brexit minister Steve Baker has also quit with Suella Braverman set to follow after Davis’ resignation.
It comes on the eve of a major test for the PM who faces the House of Commons and backbenchers today
The resignation is a huge blow to Mrs May who was set to insist she had chosen the ‘right Brexit for Britain’
Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would oppose the PM’s proposals and accused her of trying to ‘bounce’ ministers
In his resignation letter, Mr Davis criticised the PM’s Brexit plan – agreed by the cabinet on Friday – saying it would leave Parliament with “at best a weak negotiating position”.
In her reply, Mrs May said she did not agree but thanked him for his work.
The resignation is a blow to Mrs May as she seeks to win over Eurosceptic MPs to her proposed Brexit vision.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 after a referendum was held in 2016, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU afterwards.
There have been differences within the Conservative Party over how far the UK should prioritise the economy by compromising on issues such as leaving the remit of the European Court of Justice and ending free movement of people.
Mrs May’s Conservative Party only has a majority in Parliament with the support in key votes of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, so any split raises questions about whether her plan could survive a Commons vote – and has also led to renewed questions about whether she will face a challenge to her position.
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 UK would leave the customs union and single market.
He said he was “unpersuaded” that the government’s negotiating approach “will not just lead to further demands for concessions” from Brussels.
Mr Davis, who was appointed Brexit Secretary in 2016, said: “The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.”
David Davis, who has quit as Brexit secretary, had one of the toughest jobs in politics – negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU – and he also has one of the most colourful CVs.
David Davis resigns from Commons and explains why he is resigning.
Shadow home secretary David Davis has resigned as an MP, promising to fight to regain his seat on a platform of defending “British liberties”.