Britain's Brexit Secretary Abruptly Quits, Throwing Deal To Leave EU In Doubt

GBP Weekend Gap at Risk on Brexit Update Eyes Carney Speech

GBP Weekend Gap at Risk on Brexit Update Eyes Carney Speech

Number 10 announced on Monday morning that Housing minister Dominic Raab had been chosen to replace Mr Davis.

- His departure leaves May with a hard task to find a replacement who can win the confidence of the pro-Brexit faction in May's Conservative Party whilst delivering on a Brexit plan that outraged many of them.

Conservative lawmakers also worry that leadership election so close to Brexit - due to take place on March 29, 2019 - would embolden Labour and increase pressure for another election which could delay Brexit.

David Davis had already expressed unease over the compromise plan.

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

Davis' departure comes just nine months before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union and 15 weeks before a final deal is to be signed.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of a group of Brexit supporters in the Conservative Party, signalled that he would not vote for May's plan, apparently agreed by the cabinet at Chequers on Friday, if it came to a vote in parliament.

After the Chequers summit, it emerged that Johnson had referred to attempts to sell the prime minister's Brexit plan as "polishing a turd".

Brexit-backing lawmakers have been angered by May's plans, saying they will keep Britain too close to the European Union and limit its ability to strike new trade deals.

Davis was particularly critical of the proposal for a "common rulebook" to allow free trade in goods, saying this "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".

"I am also unpersuaded that our negotiating approach will not just lead to further demands for concessions", he writes. It seeks to keep the United Kingdom and the European Union in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "This afternoon, the prime minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary".

"May's Brexit means BRINO - "Brexit In Name Only" - a fake Brexit", said John Longworth, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave.

Johnson has not commented publicly since Friday. Michael Gove, May's environment minister, said on Sunday that while the agreed negotiating stance was not ideal, he believed it delivered on handing back control to Britain.

May's survival will depend on keeping other senior cabinet ministers in the government.

"All those of us who believe that we want to execute a proper Brexit, and one that is the best deal for Britain, have an opportunity now to get behind the prime minister in order to negotiate that deal", he told the BBC.

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