Friday 16 November 2018

'Less and less likely' that Brexit will deliver - the reasons for David Davis's resignation

David Davis says it is with
David Davis says it is with "deep regret" that he is resigning Photo: Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

David Davis savaged the Government's approach to Brexit while dramatically quitting as the minister responsible for the UK's departure from the European Union.

In his resignation letter, Mr 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 and the Tory commitments to leave the EU customs union and single market.

Mr Davis 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 EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense," he wrote to the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

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

The responsibility for leading the negotiations should now go to an "enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript", he said.

In her reply, Mrs May told him: "I do not agree with your characterisation of the policy we agreed on at Cabinet on Friday."

She said: "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."

Mr Davis's departure just 48 hours after being part of the Cabinet that agreed to Mrs May's plans also triggered the resignation of departmental ally Steve Baker, while fellow Brexit minister Suella Braverman is also reported to have stepped down.

Press Association

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