Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

UK: Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit Secretary

UK: Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit Secretary

Mr Davis quit his role as chief Brexit negotiator after rejecting Theresa May's "flawed" Chequers blueprint for Brexit.

U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis departs Downing Street following a cabinet meeting in London on Tuesday.

At a summit at Chequers in the English countryside on Friday, all 12 cabinet members agreed to a plan that would follow European Union rules on goods to ensure "frictionless" trade and allow European Union courts to have some oversight on certain subjects.

Davis's resignation may also further disrupt Brexit talks, with less than nine months before Britain leaves and just over three before the European Union says it wants a deal that will mark Britain's biggest foreign and trade policy shift in decades.

Jenkyns said Steve Baker, a junior minister in the Brexit department, had also quit.

Davis, a sharp operator and a gut-instinct politician, was a Leave campaigner in the referendum.

"The PM said in her letter to the secretary of state that she didn't agree with his characterization of the position".

That agreement of her fractious Cabinet, at a lock-in at May's countryside retreat, came after companies stepped up their lobbying efforts with warnings that severing ties to Britain's biggest trading partner - as the Brexit backers want - would be devastating for jobs and investment.

- Davis campaigned to leave the European Union during the 2016 referendum and was one of three leading pro-Brexit ministers brought back into government by May.

However, he also reportedly threatened to resign from the government on a number of occasions, most recently during talks to resolve a dispute with pro-EU Conservative lawmakers who wanted a greater say for parliament over the final Brexit deal.

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"A very soft Brexit means that we haven't left, we are simply a rule-taker", he said.

"It seems to me we are giving too much away, too easily, and that is a risky strategy at this time", he told BBC radio.

May's office said a replacement for Davis would be announced Monday.

"I like Theresa May, I think she's a good prime minister", Davis said.

May's plan would create a free trade area with the European Union for goods, to protect supply chains in areas such as manufacturing, while maintaining flexibility for Britain's dominant service sector.

But Davis had expressed his unease over a compromise plan right up until the eve of the meeting, writing a letter to May describing her proposal to ease trade and give Britain more freedom to set tariffs as "unworkable".

The resignations dealt yet another blow to the beleaguered leader, just two days after she announced she had finally united her quarrelsome government behind her plan for a divorce deal with the EU. The government is trying to convince lawmakers to back the agreed stance, inviting them, including those from the opposition Labour Party, for briefings on the plan.

Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leader of the party's "hard Brexit" faction, compared May's plan to an egg so softly boiled that it "isn't boiled at all".

He told Reuters. "If the Brexit Secretary could not support them (the Chequers conclusions) they cannot genuinely be delivering Brexit".

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