Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned late on Sunday, saying he was not willing to be “a reluctant conscript” to Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to leave the European Union, Reuters reported. The government has appointed a pro-Brexit support and former housing minister Dominic Raab to replace Davis, The Guardian reported.
Davis’ resignation came just two days after May held a crisis meeting with her ministers to overcome the deep divisions over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The move was praised by campaigners in May’s Conservative Party, who felt her plan to press for the closest possible trading ties with the bloc is against their desire for a clean break with the European Union.
Davis’ junior ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman also resigned, Sky News reported. “The general direction of policy will leave us in, at best, a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” Davis told May in his resignation letter. He criticised her decision to maintain a “common rule book” with the European Union, mirroring the bloc’s rules and regulations, saying it would “hand control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws”.
Davis also attacked May’s strategy, saying it will make “the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real”. He said he feared that the United Kingdom’s strategy would lead the bloc to make more demands for concessions.
May thanked Davis for his work but said she does not agree with his characterisation of the policy they had agreed on at a Cabinet meeting last week.