10 Jul 2018
David Davis has quit as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, citing disagreements with Number 10’s stance and concerns that the general direction of policy will leave Britain in ‘at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.’
Current housing minister and ex-lawyer Dominic Raab will take over as Brexit Secretary, handling negotiations with the EU.
Davis, who took up the position in July 2016, indicated he had been dissatisfied for some time, made compromises with colleagues and had hoped solutions would be found, including regarding delivering on the mandate of the referendum, the issue of leaving the Customs Union and Single Market.
He also expressed disapproval of the government’s position, which was outlined on Friday.
The Prime Minister’s Brexit plan was agreed on Friday, and includes a UK-EU free trade area covering industrial and agricultural products.
It also states that both parties would establish ‘a joint institutional framework’ for the application of UK‐EU agreements.
“In my view the inevitable consequence of the proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real,” Davis said in his letter.
“As I said at Cabinet, the ‘common rule book’ policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU 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.”
In her letter responding to Davis, May maintained that government’s stance was in line with mandate of the referendum. She also said she was sorry that he would be leaving.
“You returned to Government after nineteen years to lead an entirely new Department responsible for a vital, complex, and unprecedented task,” she wrote.
“You have helped to steer through Parliament some of the most important legislation for generations… these landmark Acts, and what they will do, stand as testament to your work and our commitment to honouring the result of the referendum.”
– Irene Madongo
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