Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper
Theresa May's Govt in crisis as Brexit Affairs Minister quits
The Telegraph :
David Davis, pictured at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, has triggered a crisis for Theresa May as she tries to build support for her Brexit plan.
Theresa May's Government is in deep crisis after David Davis dramatically resigned as Brexit secretary on Sunday night.
Mr Davis shocked the Prime Minister by telling her he could not support the Brexit plan agreed at Chequers on Friday, and was quitting "in the national interest".
Shortly after news of his departure broke, Steve Baker, his deputy in the Brexit department, also quit, prompting speculation that a wave of Cabinet resignations could follow.
Just 48 hours after Mrs May appeared to have united her Cabinet behind a vision for Brexit, her plans were in tatters, with a very real danger that she could face a leadership challenge within days.Attention will turn to Boris Johnson, who described Mrs May's Brexit blueprint as "a big turd", to see if he too might quit in an attempt to oust Mrs May and replace her with a Brexiteer.
Up to half a dozen backbench Tory MPs are said to be preparing to submit letters to the Party expressing a lack of confidence in the Prime Minister after she signed the Cabinet up to a "soft" Brexit plan, which could be enough to force a confidence vote in her.
Mr Davis went to see Mrs May and Chief Whip Julian Smith at 8pm on Sunday night to tell them of his decision.
Friends of Mr Davis said his resignation was "sad but principled".
One source said: "This is a principled and honest decision. He has argued against the policy and therefore cannot support it."
Mr Davis had been on the brink of resigning more than once in recent weeks, but soldiered on because he did not want to risk bringing the Prime Minister down.
Other ministers in his department, including Mr Baker and Suella Braverman are said to have agreed a "you go, we go" pact with Mr Davis, suggesting Mrs May could find herself having to replace the entire Brexit department if she manages to cling on to power.
Mrs May is reported to have discussed taking personal charge of Brexit and merging the Brexit department with the Cabinet office in the event of Mr Davis's resignation.