Raab takes over Brexit reins after Davis quits

Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to get her Brexit plans back on track by appointing Dominic Raab to replace David Davis after his abrupt resignation as the minister in charge of negotiations with the European Union.

Dominic Raab, Brexit Secretary

Source: World Economic Forum

Mr Raab, the former housing minister and a known Brexit activist, will now be responsible for putting to Brussels the ‘common rule book’ plan that Mrs May succeeded in getting her Cabinet to agree at a 12-hour meeting on Friday.

David Davis steps down as Brexit secretary

The Cabinet unity, however, lasted only until the early hours of Monday when Mr Davis announced he was quitting as Brexit Secretary because he felt Mrs May had “given away too much too easily” to the EU and that the plan would mean, in effect, Britain staying in both the Customs Union and Single Market.Mrs May suffered another blow on Monday afternoon when Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - another long-term critic of a 'soft' Brexit - announced that he, too, was quitting the government.“The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” Mr Davis in his resignation letter.He told BBC Radio 4’s Today, “It seems to me we are giving too much away too easily and that’s a dangerous strategy at this time.“Hopefully, we will resist very strongly any attempt to get any further concessions from us on this, because I think this goes further than we should have gone already.”In her reply to Mr Davis, Mrs May said, “I do not agree with your characterisation of the policy we agreed on at Cabinet on Friday.“I am sorry that you have chosen to leave the Government when we have already made so much progress towards delivering a smooth and successful Brexit and when we are only eight months from the date set in law when the UK will leave the EU.”
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Cabinet agrees to a ‘common rule book’ plan

The plan the Cabinet agreed at the private meeting on Friday would see Britain proposing a “free trade area for goods” based on “a common rule book for all goods including agri-food, with the UK making an upfront choice to commit by treaty to ongoing harmonisation with EU rules”.Services were not included in the plan as the UK hopes to strike a separate deal with “regulatory flexibility” where required, although Whitehall accepts this would mean “the UK and the EU will not have current levels of access to each other’s markets”.Additionally, under the plan, laws would be interpreted by respective courts with “due regard paid to EU case law in areas where the UK continued to apply a common rule book”.The UK government believes that a proposal for a ‘facilitated customs arrangement’ – under which the UK would collect tariffs on behalf of the EU and “enable the UK to control its own tariffs for trade with the rest of the world” – mean there would be no need for a hard border in Ireland.Business groups broadly welcomed the plan immediately after it was announced, even though they expressed disappointment that it had taken two years since the Brexit referendum for Britain to formulate a solid negotiating position. But the initial optimism faded after Mr Davis’s resignation.Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said there had been “real rays of light” in the Cabinet agreement on Friday.But asked about Mr Davis’s resignation on Monday, she told the BBC, “This is a blow. One of the things that business welcomed on Friday was finally Cabinet unity. That inability to take decisions over several months had become a huge challenge in terms of uncertainty.” Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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