July 9 (UPI) — Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned Sunday over disagreements with British Prime Minister Theresa May over how to conduct the nation’s exit from the European Union.
Davis’ resignation was followed by the resignations of two more officials from the Department for Exiting — EU ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman, The Guardian reported.
The three resignations indicate a high level of disagreement over the “soft” Brexit deal agreed to on Friday that gives Britain a Norway-style relationship with the EU, setting up a free trade area for goods that operates under a “common rule book” and, in trade cases, require British courts to give “due regard” to European rulings, The Financial Times reported.
In his resignation letter, Davis sharply criticized the deal.
“In my view, the inevitable consequence of the proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real,’ he wrote. “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.”
In response, May said she disagreed with Davis’ characterization of the deal as leaving Britain vulnerable to the whims of EU leadership.
“The direct effect of EU law will end when we leave the EU. Where the UK chooses to apply a common rulebook, each rule will have to be agreed by Parliament,” May said. “Choosing not to sign up to certain rules would lead to consequences for market access, security co-operation or the frictionless border, but that decision will rest with our sovereign Parliament, which will have a lock on whether to incorporate those rules into the UK legal order.”
But other British leaders in Parliament agree with Davis’ characterization, and several business leaders have criticized the plan as overly bureaucratic and cumbersome for British businesses.
Brexit hardliners in May’s Conservative Party could call for a vote of no-confidence if there is continued disagreement over the deal. And MP Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, took the opportunity to criticize May.
“David Davis resigning at such a crucial time shows @Theresa_May has no authority left and is incapable of delivering Brexit,” Corbyn wrote Sunday. “With her Government in chaos, if she clings on, it’s clear she’s more interested in hanging on for her own sake than serving the people of our country.”