Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit Secretary

Prime Minister Theresa May's government was thrown into turmoil late Sunday with the surprise resignation of David Davis, her "Brexit minister" in charge of negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union.

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.

She is set to tell MPs there have been "robust views" on Brexit among cabinet members and is also expected to announce a replacement for Davis.

David Davis has threatened to resign on a number of occasions as Brexit Secretary.

Former Conservative MP Stewart Jackson campaigned for Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Before his letter of resignation was made public, Davis's allies told the British press that he was resigning because he could not support the soft Brexit plan pushed forward by May at a crunch cabinet meeting Friday at the prime minister's countryside estate, called Chequers.

In her reply, Mrs May said: "I do not agree with your characterisation of the policy we agreed at cabinet on Friday".

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

After many months of rumours that he would pull the plug, David Davis has actually quit as Brexit Secretary. "The prime minister can't deliver Brexit and has zero authority left".

The former Brexit Secretary added that the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result and the Tory commitments to leave the European Union customs and single markets.

"A wider rebellion, a leadership challenge, early elections and possibly another major shift in the Brexit strategy (either way) can not be ruled out", Citi said in a note to clients. "It has been worrying the prime minister's advisers from the start".

After the hours-long meeting at Chequers, May seemed to have persuaded the most vocal Brexit campaigners in the cabinet, including Davis, to back her plan to press for "a free trade area for goods" with the European Union and maintain close trade ties. Trade Secretary Liam Fox put his name to a newspaper article backing May's plan, and Environment Secretary Michael Gove defended it in a TV interview.

The Tory leader's hard-won proposal was agreed to at her Chequers country retreat after marathon talks on Friday.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of a Conservative group of Brexit supporters, said Davis' resignation proved that their concerns were well-founded and signaled that he would not vote for May's plan if it came to a vote in parliament.

May is due to meet her lawmakers later on Monday.

May's survival will depend on keeping other senior cabinet ministers in the government.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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