UK: Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit Secretary

  • UK: Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit Secretary

UK: Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit Secretary

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday appointed Dominic Raab, a staunchly pro-Brexit lawmaker, to replace David Davis as the most senior official in charge of negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union.

In this Thursday, May 17, 2018 file photo, British Prime Minister Theresa May looks on during a news conference with her Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev, not pictured, following their meeting at the government building in Skopje, Macedonia.

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

At each stage I have accepted collective responsibility because it is part of my task to find workable compromises, and because I considered it was still possible to deliver on the mandate of the referendum, and on our manifesto commitment to leave the Customs Union and the Single Market.

Reports said Mr Davis resigned on Sunday, 48 hours after Ms May announced her divided Government had at last agreed on a plan for ties with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves next year. "An agreement was reached by the cabinet on Friday and now we are moving forward to negotiate that plan", the spokesman told reporters.

British media reported that junior Brexit minister Steve Baker had also stepped down.

Conservative MP David Davis arrives at Downing Street on July 13, 2016 in London, England.

Davis said he had left because he feared the European Union would "take what we have offered already and then demand some more".

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.

George Freeman, May's former policy chief, said on Twitter that a "no deal" Brexit "just got a lot more likely". 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. 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.

His departure came shortly before Theresa May was due to address Parliament about her new Brexit plan, which has angered many Tory MPs.

She stamped her authority on her government and told ministers to back the plan for close ties to the bloc or leave. 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.

However, even in that event it seems to me that the national interest requires a Secretary of State in my Department that is an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript.