Brexit, government disarray in UK – Davis, Johnson resign

Theresa May’s leadership in Britian is said to be on very shaky ground, aas is their Brexit plans,  after Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned from the government.

BBC:  Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

Brexit Secretary David Davis, who has been leading negotiations to leave the EU, has resigned from the government.

In his resignation letter, Mr Davis criticised the PM’s Brexit plan – agreed by the cabinet on Friday – saying it would leave Parliament with “at best a weak negotiating position”.

In his letter, Mr Davis told Mrs May that “the current trend of policy and tactics” was making it “look less and less likely” that the UK would leave the customs union and single market.

He said he was “unpersuaded” that the government’s negotiating approach “will not just lead to further demands for concessions” from Brussels.

Mr Davis, who was appointed Brexit Secretary in 2016, said: “The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.”

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

Junior minister Steve Baker quit shortly after Mr Davis – as Mrs May prepares to face MPs and peers later.

Sounds very messy.

The Conservatives have struggled since May took over as Prime Minister and led them into a disastrous snap election. And it looks worse now.

UPDATES: Missy has been updating in comments as things unfold in the UK on Monday (their time). Here is the big new news:

  • Boris Johnson resigns as foreign secretary amid growing crisis over UK’s Brexit strategy

Johnson could ‘not champion proposals’

In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Boris Johnson wrote:

“Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently… That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self doubt.”

Mr Johnson said “we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit” and had concluded he “must go” since he “cannot in all conscience champion” the proposals agreed by Cabinet on Friday.

“As I said then, the government now has a song to sing,” he wrote. “The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat.”

  • His resignation came hours after David Davis quit as Brexit secretary, followed by a junior minister
  • Days ago the cabinet had agreed to the PM’s Brexit plan at Chequers
  • But Mr Davis said he did not “believe” in the Chequers plan and was not the best person to deliver it
  • Prominent Leave campaigner Dominic Raab has been appointed new Brexit secretary

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-44762836

 

42 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  July 9, 2018

    being a kiwi, born in UK.. I would have preferred ‘Bremain’ mostly because of the visafree-travel & work options. I went on an OE many moons ago & it was great using my EU/UK passport to go through EU without the strict border checkpoints; just showed my passport, if asked & that was it.

    The one issue I did come across was travelling back from Ireland (republic) to England.. they had a IRA/terrorist checklist & I was ‘doublechecked’ against it. I was told it was not really a problem; better safe than sorry they said; ‘men with beards’ ??

  2. PartisanZ

     /  July 9, 2018

    Far out …. and we thought it was difficult Britain getting INTO the EU …!!!

  3. Gezza

     /  July 9, 2018

    Alaz tv is right up with the play every hour. Will check them out regularly.

    • Gezza

       /  July 9, 2018

      Aljaz reporter said most British voters have reached the point, from his perspective, where both Labour & Conservatives are hopelessly factionalised & compromised with no clear policy, & they are just sick of the whole thing & just want a decision.

      That May’s problem is she is trying to appeal to those who want to exit completely, those who want to exit ‘only a little bit’, & those who don’t want to exit at all – and the end result is just a confused angry muddle that satisfies nobody.

      His opinion is that even if this deal is taken to the EU, & however it is received by the EU, she has lost the confidence of the Party & the voters & is going to be rolled, if not now, within a few months.

      • Gezza

         /  July 9, 2018

        He also said those objecting to this deal say it leaves the UK unable to negotiate separate trade deals with other countries. Missy – can you confirm?

        • Missy

           /  July 10, 2018

          There is a bit of confusion around this aspect of the deal. My understanding of what came out on Friday is that they will still be able to do deals but not comprehensive deals, and they will be limited in negotiations on the goods that they maintain the Customs Union for.

          From what I have seen reported on the proposals from Theresa May it appears that her fudge is that the UK will follow Customs Union rules on products they choose to, and not on others, this of course leaves future Governments open to adding what products they include, and from what I understand these products won’t be able to be included in any FTA’s.

          So essentially, in theory if the plan was accepted then the UK would be able to do FTA’s, but the reality would be it is so difficult it won’t be worth it.

          To be honest I was waiting until after the meetings today with the MPs to see if the Conservatives will accept the proposal or not before I wrote too much on it, no point in investing time if it won’t be accepted by her own party! Also, it doesn’t appear as though the EU are likely to accept the proposals either.

        • Missy

           /  July 10, 2018

          My view has been backed by David Davis who has said the proposal that Theresa May has come up with will inhibit but not prohibit trade deals with countries outside the EU.

      • David

         /  July 10, 2018

        “That May’s problem is she is trying to appeal to those who want to exit completely, those who want to exit ‘only a little bit’, & those who don’t want to exit at all – and the end result is just a confused angry muddle that satisfies nobody.”

        She if trying to prevent brexit while still holding on to power for grim death. That is the only explanation for where she has ended up.

  4. Missy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Dominic Raab is the new Brexit Secretary.

    He campaigned for Leave, but I have an idea he is not a fan of a hard brexit and possibly supports May’s plan, so I am not sure if he will be a popular choice or not.

    I will try to keep everyone updated, unfortunately I have a new boss and am not allowed the radio on in the office anymore, so it will be tough! 🙂

    • Gezza

       /  July 10, 2018

      unfortunately I have a new boss and am not allowed the radio on in the office anymore

      He’ll have to go. 😡

      Who else have they got? 😳

      • Missy

         /  July 10, 2018

        No-one, sadly I don’t think this one is going too soon. 😦

  5. Missy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Boris is MIA. So far he hasn’t arrived at two meetings / events he was expected at this afternoon.

    A journalist has said that he was told that David Davis encouraged Boris to resign with him, the source of this is apparently close to Boris and believes that both Boris and DD have been badly treated and Boris should resign. Speculation is increasing that he will resign.

    • Missy

       /  July 10, 2018

      Boris has resigned. Reports are saying that No. 10 spiked him – they released that he was resigning before he had even finished his resignation letter, let alone given it to the PM.

  6. Missy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Boss is out so am listening to the radio.

    David Davis doesn’t believe this will trigger a no confidence vote in Theresa May’s leadership within the Conservative Party, but if it does he believes that Theresa May will win it.

    His pick for Foreign Secretary is Michael Gove.

  7. Thanks for the updates Missy. It’s getting messier by the day and more may be yet to come.

    I see that someone has been busy down ticking every comment here plus all other comments posted through the night. I think that’s funny, going to all that effort to help make the site look alive and active. And individual down ticks usually get balanced by genuine ticks.

    Update – it took 6 minutes for this comment to be down ticked, at 4:48 am. An insomniac, or someone on the other side of the world perhaps. Whoever it is, thanks for your interest and contribution to site activity.

    • Missy

       /  July 10, 2018

      You are welcome Pete.

      The PM is currently meeting with the 1922 Committee, and it is rumoured that the party chairman has received the required 48 letters to trigger a vote of no confidence in Theresa May.

      The downticker is a coward who is unwilling to debate their point of view. All I can say is, despite the timing of it, it isn’t me. 🙂

    • Missy

       /  July 10, 2018

      That’s been the Conservative stance all along so I am not surprised.

  8. Missy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Good God, parts of Boris’s resignation letter were read out on the radio, what a rambling piece of writing it is.

  9. Missy

     /  July 10, 2018

    It doesn’t look like there will be a confidence vote, and the PM may
    just have won over the 1922 Committee.

    • Gezza

       /  July 10, 2018

      Jonah Hull reporting for Aljazeera tv just now is saying that MP’s leaving the meeting are confirming that Theresa has won them over – with her most persuasive argument apprarently & unsurprisingly being if the Conservative Party was not united behind the deal they would be handing the next election (horrors) to Jeremy Corbyn. 😀

      • Gezza

         /  July 10, 2018

        Aljaz tv also showed this tweet:

        • Missy

           /  July 10, 2018

          Yeah, that hasn’t gone down too well in the UK….

          • Gezza

             /  July 10, 2018

            Yeah. I’d be pistoff by that if I was a Pom. Probably done himself a disservice there.

            🤔 Could he be colluding with the Russians to get Corbyn elected? 😮 😀

            • Missy

               /  July 11, 2018

              Risk and Verhofstadt have form for tweeting inappropriate, ill judged tweets, none of which have gone down well in the UK.

  10. David

     /  July 10, 2018

    May never wanted to leave and was a poor choice for a PM who had to implement it. They needed a tough but inspiring PM who could have negotiated properly with the EU from the strong position the UK was in. Then they needed a PM who could have sold the opportunity that Brexit has offered them. She is just a grey woman with little appetite for risk, John Major in a frock and hopefully when the EU reject her offer unless she concedes yet more she will be rightfully turfed out.

    • Blazer

       /  July 10, 2018

      who will replace her?Moggy?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  July 10, 2018

        Looks like it will be Boris – the perfect mix of overconfidence and under-competence.

    • MaureenW

       /  July 10, 2018

      .. John Major in a frock – lol and too true.

    • Missy

       /  July 10, 2018

      A good summation. At the moment though May is it. I think at the moment many see it as a poison chalice and don’t want the job, but if she is defeated in the Commons on her proposed deal – or makes any further concessions to the EU – then I think they will have to roll her.

  11. Missy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Jeremy Hunt (known as Jeremy C… by many in the NHS) is the new Foreign Secretary. This means the four top Government positions, PM, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, and Home Secretary are all Remainers.

    Theresa May has to be worried though, Boris can do much more damage outside Cabinet than in, I won’t be surprised if he starts agitating, and speaking out more, from the back benches.

    • Gezza

       /  July 10, 2018

      Aljaz tv did a brief bio on Boris as London Mayor & Foreign Sec, & Jonah Hull interviewed a couple of Brit political commentators outside Westminster. One said Boris got away with being outrageous & a maverick when he surprised everyone by getting elected as Mayor of a Labour city, but that he had made too many enemies in the Conservative Party so lost the leadership contest as they eventually went for someone less polarising (May).

      He said Boris has, however, struggled with being the Foreign Secretary, having to represent views he doesn’t agree with, & having to be a different kind of character. He was dubious about Boris suceeding if he mounted another leadership bid.

      The other commentator warned about writing Boris off because he has been teflon. Something about him having got in trouble with Cameron over lying about an affair, & some other previous caught out lying incident, but managing to make a full comeback with hardly a dent in his reputation & standing.

      • There was an interesting comment on The Conservative Woman (UK site) by a researcher who had found that Boris, when Mayor of London, had been amazingly popular with ordinary folk right across all political and social spectrums, and had what is referred to in Britain as “The Common Touch”; ie an ability to connect with the electorate, that other pollies would have killed their grandmothers for.

        So I am inclined not to write him off. He might be just the right sort of ‘populist’ leader that the people crave for to sort out this mess without rolling over like puppies to the EU. I think the People are growing tired of grey, whey-faced Euro-functionaries endlessly filling in grey, whey-faced Euro-spreadsheets; they want a leader.

        When May returns from the EU, doubtless with her tail between her legs and egg all over her face, it could be the opportune moment for the Brexiteers to gather behind him and strike. I think an increasing number of ordinary folk are getting pretty cheesed off at the looming likelihood of continuing to be dictated to by empire-building despots in Brussels, with a Theresa May BRINO – Brexit In Name Only.

        • Missy

           /  July 11, 2018

          It is surprising how popular Boris was as Mayor, but even more so how many want him back as Mayor – including Labour supporters that voted for Khan!!

    • David

       /  July 10, 2018

      My Brother is an anesthetist and his wife is an ENT surgeon for the NHS and they are just a little bit delighted that Hunt is no longer the health minister.
      They sent apologies as he is now foreign minister but seeing as we have Winston there was no need.

      • Missy

         /  July 11, 2018

        Not surprised they are a little bit delighted, and as you say there is no need for them to apologise as we have Winston – which really means we should be apologising to the world!

  12. Zedd

     /  July 10, 2018

    good riddance.. Boris !

  13. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 10, 2018

    May’s Brexit has been a slow mo train crash. She’s been the conductor in the last carriage rather than the driver up front. She called an early election and lost it. Then she has stumbled and bumbled from one disaster to the next ever since. I am forced to conclude the only reason she is still there is that her Remainers know she is incompetent to deliver Brexit.

  14. Missy

     /  July 11, 2018

    Two more resignations today, though not from the Cabinet.

    Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield who are two of the Conservatives Vice Chairs have resigned in protest at the Chequers plan.

    Not really significant members, and all their resignation will do is cause a small annoyance to Theresa May.

    Of more concern, for the public, is this – if it is true. That someone is being blocked from a job by No. 10 even though the Secretary of State for that area wants him is not good.

    • Missy

       /  July 11, 2018

      It seems there could be truth in the report that No. 10 blocked Dominic Raab keeping on one of David Davis’s allies in the Department for Exiting the EU.