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 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

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

No. 1-12

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


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.


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?


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.