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Brexit secretary David Davis resigns over May's EU strategy

posted onJuly 9, 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis, has resigned from government citing irreconcilable differences with UK's Prime Minister Theresa May. 

Davis’s resignation was confirmed just before midnight on Sunday. Speaking early Monday on BBC Radio 4, Davis said he "proposed one approach, (May) chose another one that is more conciliatory to the EU." 

"My fear is they'll take what we're offering and demand some more ... We're giving too much away, too easily, and that's a dangerous strategy," he added. 

Last week, May's cabinet formally endorsed her soft Brexit strategy which includes a free trade area with the European Union. In his resignation letter, Davis criticised May's Brexit strategy saying it would leave Parliament with "at best a weak negotiating position"

In her reply May, said she did not agree “with your characterization of the policy we agreed at cabinet on Friday” but thanked him for his work. 

With nine months before Britain leaves the EU and just over three before the bloc says it wants a deal, the departure of a key minister threatens to destabilise the government, local media reported.

Speculation is growing that a growing number of supporters of a harder Brexit, who are unhappy with May's proposals, are calling for a leadership challenge. 

Ian Lavery, chair of the Labour party, said: “This is absolute chaos and Theresa May has no authority left. The prime minister is in office but not in power.”

“Fantastic news. Well done David Davis for having the principal and guts to resign,” Conservative lawmaker Andrea Jenkyns who quit a junior government role earlier this year to "fight for Brexit", said on Twitter. 

May is due to address MPs on Monday afternoon and is expected to tell MPs that the strategy agreed by the cabinet on Friday is the "right Brexit" for Britain. 

Davis was appointed Brexit Secretary in 2016. The pound remained higher after news of Davis’ resignation while European equities opened in the green on Monday.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 after a referendum was held in 2016, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU afterwards. 

With reporting by BBC and Reuters

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