UK Brexit Minister David Davis Unexpectedly Resigns Leaving Government in Peril

David Davis resigns. What's next is uncertain, but there may be a challenge to Theresa May's government.

The Wall Street Journal reports David Davis, U.K. Minister in Charge of Brexit Negotiations, Resigns.

The resignation by a prominent minister who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU follows a cabinet meeting on Friday in which a plan for Britain’s future relationship was finally hammered out, 25 months after a referendum vote to leave the EU.

The proposal, under which Britain would commit to following EU regulations for food and manufactured goods, has generated disquiet among some Brexit supporters who want a more fundamental break from the bloc.

The resignation increases the likelihood that Mrs. May will face an attempt to unseat her from within her own Conservative Party, with the possibility that Mr. Davis would seek to stand as a candidate to succeed her if a leadership race ensues. It also raises the possibility that other pro-Brexit ministers will follow Mr. Davis out the door.

In a letter to Mrs. May, Mr. Davis said “the current trend of policy and tactics” makes the Conservatives’ pledge to leave the EU’s single market and customs union “less and less likely.”

“The cabinet decision on Friday crystallized this problem,” he wrote. The policy “hands control of large swaths of our economy to the EU,” adding the negotiating approach could just lead to further demands for concessions from the EU.

Labour Attacks

Two Other Brexit Ministers Resign

The Guardian reports Brexit ministers Suella Braverman and Steve Baker also resign.

Peculiar Timing

Davis is correct, of course. And May's cave-in timing is peculiar to say the least.

With Trump turning the royal screws on Germany with tariffs and sanctions, Germany's vaunted export machine was on the verge of collapse.

Think about what huge UK tariffs on German cars might do were they to come on top of Trump tariffs.

Finally factor in a total collapse of UK payment to the EU and a ban on EU fishing in UK waters.

The EU would have been stubbornly foolish to not offer May concessions. That's possible of course because politicians can be stubbornly foolish for long periods of time.

But at least the UK would be able to negotiate its own trade deals. Moreover, Once the EU collapsed, it might not have taken too long for them to beg the UK for something beyond a World Trade Organization agreement.

What's next? Hell, with May giving in on nearly everything, it's possible, if not likely, the UK will get the worst of both worlds, neither quite in nor quite out for years to come.

May does not know how to bargain or walk away despite saying no deal is better than a bad deal.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (12)
No. 1-12
AWC
AWC

Welcome to the The Hotel Euro, you can check out but you can never leave.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

large multinationals have been threatening of pulling out of UK or killing investment. Democracy died a while back, now we all witness the burial. It is no longer worth voting.

Greggg
Greggg

"... you can check out but you can never leave".

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

The US has a military industrial complex. We have some kind of EU plutocratic industrial complex. Democracy died, few noticed it was even ill.

chris_m
chris_m

exactly as i would have expected, even before the original referendum.

vote leave, and then immediately or eventually cancel the vote.

a) Brexit voters win referendum (they're happy) b) Government drags its feet and eventually waters down the outcome (Remain voters happy)

a+b= everybody gets to win so everybody's happy (or maybe not)

If Theresa May really wanted for Britain to stay in the EU then all she has to do would be to call another General Election and then lose (which i thought was the original intention in last years election)

Labour party generally pro-EU, after all is said and done.

Webej
Webej

The EU will not collapse, and the pain to Britain will likely be more severe (lose:lose). The single market embraces free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour. Mish should be a proponent. Britain wants only free movements of goods, but the four are not separable, as a matter of practicality. And then to think that it was actually the immigration/sovereignty issue at the heart of the Brexit vote, not trade. As we see in Italy and elsewhere, the rest of the EU populace shares a great deal of the Brexit animus, in contrast to the ruling parties. Britain was the object of the most migration even before the EU (got into the business of encouraging it), just look at the composition of British cities. Apparently the actual choices that the government needs to make are too unpalatable for them to even make a start at some form of competent preparations.

JLS
JLS

We're seeing one of the big differences between the UK and US systems of government: Americans can simultaneously reject both major parties by voting in an (essentially) independent candidate like Trump.

The British prime minister is simply the majority party leader. A new election won't solve this: the new PM will still be chosen by party apparatchiks. May (Con) would never have won a presidential election, any more than Corbyn (Lab). That's what's driving British voters crazy.

By the way, I wish American journalists would speak to people in the UK outside London. London has ceased to be any more typical of the UK than D.C. or San Francisco are of the US. That may be why the MSM keeps getting blindsided.

KidHorn
KidHorn

The problem with the EU is you have a single currency and 20 or so governments. The only long term solution is for Europe to form a single government and become a single nation. How difficult can it be?

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Hard Brexit very possible if Paliament vote down the idea. It's only an idea so far. Brexit supporters resigning is adding to impetus against the idea and chance of a leadership challenge. Messy.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Would be surprised if the result is not a very hard Brexit with May no longer as leader.