Brexit secretary David Davis has resigned, forcing Theresa May to reshuffle her government.
Davis sent a resignation letter to the prime minister in which he criticized the Brexit plan agreed on Friday, saying it would leave the UK with “at best a weak negotiating position”.
“The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” read his resignation letter.
“As I said at Cabinet, the “common rule book” policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense,” he added.
In May’s reply to Davis, the prime minister said she was “sorry” he was leaving but would “like to thank you warmly for everything you have done… to shape our departure from the EU”.
Davis’ resignation is likely to lead to further turmoil in Parliament. Pro-Brexit MPacob Rees-Mogg said that May needs to reconsider her Brexit approach.
“Without his imprimatur, it will be very difficult for them [May’s Brexit proposals] to get the support of Conservative MPs and therefore the prime minister would be well advised to reconsider them,” he said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“If the Brexit secretary could not support them they cannot genuinely be delivering Brexit,” he added.
May is expected to address the House of Commons on Friday and tell MPs that the plan agreed on Friday is the “right Brexit” for Britain.
May will also talk directly to European leaders. She said on Sunday: “Our message now is to the other side, to Europe, that it’s time to get serious and sit down and talk about it. It’s now for Europe to be prepared to sit down and move the pace of negotiations on and talk about it seriously and address what we’ve put forward.”
Nigel Farage has supported Davis’ decision to quit and has accused May of being “duplicitous”.