Tuesday, 17 July, 2018


Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

Theresa May with Angela Merkel in Berlin on the eve of the Chequers meeting that the prime minister hopes will result in cabinet backing for her Brexit plans UK cabinet agrees on 'soft' Brexit
Conrad Doyle | 10 July, 2018, 14:54

Mrs May appointed Dominic Raab, a Brexit supporter and previously housing minister, her new Brexit secretary.

The plan "crosses numerous supposed red lines" outlined by the Prime Minister, but said "we're not there yet" when asked if he would be demanding a vote of confidence in Mrs May.

A group of entrepreneurs, including the founders of Innocent Drinks, food chain Pret a Manger, bookshop Waterstones and fashion retailer Net-A-Porter among others, urged them on.

Less hardline Brexiteers have suggested to Sky News that if the PM's proposals - including a common rule book in goods and shared tariff arrangements - were accepted by Brussels it might just be palatable to backbench opinion, but the European Union would ask for more concessions. Both sides want a deal by October, before Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.

This would enable the United Kingdom to control its own tariffs for trade with the rest of the world and ensure businesses paid the right or no tariff in the vast majority of cases upfront, and otherwise through a repayment mechanism.

Theresa May only has a majority in Parliament with the support 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.

The Prime Minister spoke with Members of Parliament following the resignations, saying they should prepare for "multiple outcomes" in future talks with the European Union, including a "no deal" Brexit. He said the proposal could be worse than Britain leaving the bloc with no deal.

The Sunday Times reports more than one Tory MP has texted Mr Johnson in the last 24 hours advising him to resign on principle, warning that if he fails to do so he will never be Conservative leader.

The man leading the UK's negotiating team, David Davis, resigned late on Sunday night, saying that he did not agree with the UK's proposals, so was the wrong person to be going into negotiations with them.

"I'm a realist", Mr Gove told the BBC, admitting that he didn't like everything about Mrs May's plan. "One of the things about this compromise is that it unites the Cabinet".

The move threatens to plunge prime minister Theresa May's administration into chaos and has shattered the fragile peace that had been established after a meeting at Chequers on Friday had appeared to establish unity in the ruling Conservative party over the direction that the government would take on Brexit.

Conservative former minister Sir Edward Leigh earlier noted the European Union has said it will not tolerate cherry-picking, adding: "What I fear is we picked the wrong cherry, for this reason - we, by accepting a common rule book in goods, are locking ourselves into a sclerotic structure where the European Union has an overwhelming trading surplus".

She will tell MPs it was "the Brexit that is in our national interest" and "will deliver on the democratic decision of the British people".

But the plan to see Britain collect tariffs on the EU's behalf may open the door for the ECJ to play a role in arbitrating future trade disputes.

They may also have been reassured by May reiterating her belief that any agreement with the EU should end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, although British courts would still have to "pay due regard" to its rulings.

What was the reaction in the Commons?

The Yorkshire Post says: Ministers back May on Brexit.

"This government by cowardice isn't taking us in a good direction".

Those events are key to shoring up the U.K.'s security relationships with Europe and the U.S. But it'll be tough for May to negotiate with authority if she doesn't have a firm grip on her government.

What has been the reaction from the EU?

In this case, the British Pound will fulfil the opposite function - we will be able to determine to what degree the position is truly a "Brexit in name only" by the reaction of the British Pound.

The UK and the European Union have been negotiating Brexit terms for more than a year now and have been hoping to agree broad aims for their future relationship in October.

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