Most senior Brexit official quits United Kingdom government

Most senior Brexit official quits United Kingdom government

Davis, who campaigned for Brexit in Britain's 2016 referendum, said he had resigned because the cabinet deal had given "too much away, too easily" to European Union negotiators, who, he feared, would simply ask for more.

It also puts a question mark over whether the leader will try to weather it and stand firm in her commitment to pursue a "business friendly" Brexit, or will be faced with more resignations and calls to quit herself.

What appears to have kickstarted the resignations, however, is May's reintroduction of "collective responsibility", a British convention which means ministers are formally banned from disagreeing with government policy, including the Brexit plan.

Junior Brexit Ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman resigned shortly after Davis.

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Dominic Raab MP as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union", a statement from May's office said.

Mr Davis resigned shortly before midnight on July 8 with a devastating letter warning Mrs May her proposals, agreed last week at Chequers, would leave the United Kingdom in "a weak negotiating position" with Brussels. Many eurosceptics are angry, saying the agreed strategy betrays her promise for a clean break with the European Union, raising the prospect that some could try to unseat her.

"We're giving away too much too easily and that is a unsafe strategy", he said.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has repeatedly called for reversing Brexit, echoing other critics such as French President Emmanuel Macron and billionaire investor George Soros, who have suggested that Britain could still change its mind. "It has been worrying the prime minister's advisers from the start".

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In a letter to May, Davis said he was not willing to be "a reluctant conscript" to her negotiating stance.

- 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. Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties with Britain's biggest trading partner.

The resignation of Davis on Sunday evening has dealt a major blow to May, who has struggled to unite factions within her ruling Conservative Party.

Davis opposed the PM's plan approved at her country residence, Chequers, on Friday.

His resignation comes days after Theresa May secured the cabinet's backing for her Brexit plan despite claims from Brexiteers that it was too "soft".

May's survival will depend on keeping other senior cabinet ministers in the government. If May fails to stabilise her party tonight then there is, for the first time, a real risk that Tory MPs will decide that enough is enough.

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

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