UK Brexit Ministers Davis, Baker Quit in Major Blow to May

UK Brexit Ministers Davis, Baker Quit in Major Blow to May

She seems to have reassured pro-Brexit ministers that under the new negotiating position Britain will still be able to seek trade deals with the rest of the world, easing fears that mirroring European Union rules for goods would rule that out.

At the meeting, May pressed Davis and other government officials to back her plan for maintaining close trade ties with the EU, Reuters reported.

Davis' resignation was also accompanied by the resignation of his deputy, Brexit minister Steve Baker, and another Brexit minister Suella Braverman has also reportedly resigned.

Hard-line Brexit backers who argue that May should have a clean, decisive break from Brussels, spent the weekend complaining that her recently revealed proposals were a timid capitulation, a "Brexit in name only", that ignored "the will of the people" who voted 52 to 48 percent in June 2016 to leave the European bloc.

Some Brexit-supporting lawmakers are angry at the proposals, saying they will keep Britain tethered to the bloc and unable to change its rules to strike new trade deals around the world.

May managed to unite her cabinet to agree to the compromise on Friday after eight hours of talks at her country residence, which news reports say included robust criticism from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, warned that a common rulebook could make "trade deals nearly impossible" if it meant regulations would have to apply to any goods coming into the UK.

Several Tory Brexiteers said yesterday they were waiting to hear what the Prime Minister had to say during tonight's meeting before deciding whether or not to submit a letter of no confidence in their leader.

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He was particularly critical of the proposal for a "common rulebook" to allow free trade in goods, saying this "hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

The Prime Minister told the BBC: "We're leaving the European Union".

He warned her that the common rulebook proposal could make "trade deals nearly impossible" if it meant regulations would have to apply to any goods coming into the UK.

Her ability to lead her party and country has been seriously impaired by the departure of the minister whose work was more important than anyone else's to the prospects of her party and the prosperity of the country. The resignations further complicate that process, and put a question mark over whether she can get the backing of parliament for her Brexit plans and whether there may be a leadership contest. Whether the Prime Minister will be able to get her plans past the Brextremists in her own party let alone Brussels remains to be seen. "A very soft Brexit means that we haven't left, we are simply a rule-taker", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

But his resignation letter, is by the standards of most such letters, astonishingly savage of a central element of the government's work - and in this case the most important policy of this or perhaps any government, how to extricate the United Kingdom from the EU.

Some Brexit backers cheered Davis on.

May is then set to meet her MPs in the Commons on Monday evening, when the backbench 1922 Committee convenes for a special session.

"We have now seen Theresa May's true colours", said John Longworth, of the Leave Means Leave pro-Brexit pressure group.

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