- Theresa May chooses Dominic Raab to be the UK’s new Brexit Secretary.
- Raab replaces David Davis, who quit late on Sunday evening.
- Davis left the role after refusing to support the prime minister’s plan for a soft Brexit.
- Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU will resume next week.
LONDON – Dominic Raab has been confirmed as the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
Raab, the MP for Esher and Walton and former housing minister, replaces David Davis, who quit Theresa May’s government on Sunday night after refusing to support the Brexit plan unveiled to ministers on Friday.
Davis, who has been leading negotiations for the UK, said in a letter to May that “the current trend of policy and tactics” meant it was “look less and less likely” that the UK would leave the single market and customs union.
He added that he was “unpersuaded” that May’s handling of talks, particularly her recent shift to a soft Brexit, “will not just lead to further demands for concessions” from EU negotiators in Brussels.
“The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” Davis told May in a resignation letter.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme on Monday morning, the ex-Brexit Secretary said that he “lost the argument” but resigned because “the policy had weaknesses.”
When pushed on the weaknesses, Davis cited the “common rule book” – May’s proposal to effectively stay in the single market for goods – which would make it more difficult for the UK to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, among other countries.
Davis refused to comment on whether other Brexiteers in the Cabinet should follow his lead and resign.
“It’s not for me to make other people’s decisions… people can only make these decisions of consequence and decisions of principle themselves,” he said.
Davis also insisted he did not want to see the government topple and said he thought May was a “good prime minister.” However, Tory MP for Morley and Outwood Andrea Jenkyns called for May to quit, telling the BBC: “Theresa May’s premiership is over…there’s a feeling we need a PM who believes in Brexit”.
Other names touted to take over from Davis included Chris Grayling, Michael Gove and Liam Fox.
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