Top Brexit Officials Resign in Blow to Theresa May

Top Brexit Officials Resign in Blow to Theresa May

David Davis and Olly Robbins did not share a vision of what Brexit should be, and Mr Davis is said to have become increasingly frustrated at what he considered a movement towards a "soft Brexit" being advocated by Mr Robbins.

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.

But Mr Davis, who signed up to the plan agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers on Friday, resigned last night, quickly followed by Brexit junior minister Steve Baker.

Theresa May faces the greatest threat to her leadership since the general election as she prepares to confront furious backbench MPs on Monday in a bid to convince them to rally behind her Brexit plans.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a key figure in the conservative party's "hard Brexit" faction which supports relinquishing access to the EU's single market in exchange for full border control, said the deal would be "worse" than a United Kingdom exit from the European Union with no deal at all.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he is concerned about the "workability" of Mrs May's blueprint for negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Over the weekend May sought to bind Brexit supporting ministers to her proposal as they were sent out to tell the media that they backed it.

"I would like to thank you warmly for everything you have done over the past two years as Secretary of State to shape our departure from the European Union", she said.

Britons voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the E.U.in a June 2016 referendum, and the plan is to exit on March 29, 2019.

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On Monday, May is due to brief MPs on the plan hammered out during a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat. "That has been their practice throughout the past year and I fear, in fact, if anything, this is just the start", Davis said.

Mr Russell said the proposals, agreed after a marathon Cabinet meeting at Chequers, were a "step in the right direction".

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour party, said the resignation was proof May "has no authority left and is incapable of delivering Brexit".

May's plan would create a free trade area with the European Union for goods, to protect supply chains in areas such as manufacturing, while maintaining flexibility for Britain's dominant service sector. The EU has warned Britain that time is running out to seal a divorce deal.

And what does all of that mean for Brexit - the most important political issue of the day - and one on which the clock is ticking?

The staunchly pro-Brexit Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Fantastic news".

Davis, a sharp operator and a gut-instinct politician, was a Leave campaigner in the referendum.

"All those of us who believe that we want to execute a proper Brexit, and one that is the best deal for Britain, have an opportunity now to get behind the prime minister in order to negotiate that deal", he told the BBC.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, was widely reported to have described the plan as a "turd" before agreeing to support it.

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