UK Ministers: Mad as Hell and Can't Take it Anymore

Boris Johnson is the latest UK minister to resign over Brexit. His letter to May explains why.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned this morning. Brexit minister David Davis resigned yesterday.

Two other understory ministers resigned leaving May's government in chaos.

Davis stated Theresa May's proposal “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.

Brexit Central has the full text of Boris Johnson's Resignation Letter.

Here are the key snips.

The British Government has spent decades arguing against this or that EU directive, on the grounds that it was too burdensome or ill-thought out. We are now in the ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts of precisely such EU law, without changing an iota, because it is essential for our economic health – and when we no longer have any ability to influence these laws as they are made.

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony – and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement. It is also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.

What is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK – before the other side has made its counter-offer. It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them. Indeed, I was concerned, looking at Friday’s document, that there might be further concessions on immigration, or that we might end up effectively paying for access to the single market.

Theresa May is Incompetent

Boris Johnson and David Davis are correct.

Theresa May is incompetent and unwilling to do the job at hand.

Mad as Hell and Can't Take it Anymore

Johnson and Davis are mad as hell and can't take it anymore. Both quit with big shouts.

It was the correct decision.

Hard Brexit Odds Rise

For further discussion, please see Odds of Hard Brexit Increase as UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Resigns.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (13)
No. 1-13

Unfortunately, opinions are too evenly split for ANY UK government to successfully carry out Brexit. This is why the Prime Minister continually tries to fudge, never committing one way or the other to a specific policy. Every time the government tries to make any kind of firm policy around Brexit either the pro-Brexit or anti-Brexit Tory parliamentarians rebel and threaten to bring down the government. This mirrors the broader split across British voters.

The sad truth is that the UK is too split on the issue of Brexit to ever do it successfully.


Scotland and NI are pro-EU and increase the apparent % voting to stay. Wales, Cornwall and England voted out by a margin. Float off NI and Scotland and a leave can be achieved. May is trying to keep the UK as the UK. She's fighting a losing battle. It could just be that the UK has come to the end of it's historic road. We could really use an English National Party that includes Welsh & Cornish and dump the old parties (all of them) in the bin.


“Johnson and Davis are mad as hell and can't take it anymore. Both quit with big shouts.“

You mean they just quit? Weren’t they supposed to schedule a few rounds of meetings to discuss what quitting really means? Then, a follow up “summit” where everyone gets polled about where they stand on someone else’s resignation?

Perhaps one last binding resolution forewarning of the environmental damage that resigning is likely to cause.

Sheesh! It’s getting to where it’s no fun having layer upon layer of bureaucratic fussbudgeting anymore.


Msurkan is correct -- this is the real issue. With something like a 52/48 split, there is no strong constituency in the UK either for the status quo or for leaving. And then it is now very obvious that the people who wanted separation had not done their homework on how to handle many of the resulting issues -- of which the Irish border question is only the most obvious.

The enthusiasts for separation have tried to treat the Brexit vote as African democracy. (One man, one vote, one time). But the UK really is a House Divided -- which cannot stand. The better approach following the evidence of the split in the separation referendum would have been for the Brits to have had a much more serious set of internal discussions until they could agree by a large majority (80%+) that they wanted to be in or out of the EU.

But maybe none of this matters. The EU is sinking. The UK is sinking. All those governments have debts they will never repay. In or out of the EU, the Gods of the Copybook Headings will have the final say.


"In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony..."

What goes around, comes around. From an empire with colonies where the sun never set, to being a colony, with no control over its fate.