Britain’s Brexit minister steps down in blow to May

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Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis and one of his deputies resigned on Sunday in a major blow for Prime Minister Theresa May as she tries to unite her party behind a plan to retain strong economic ties to the European Union even after leaving the bloc.
“The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” Davis said in a letter to May.
British media reported that junior Brexit minister Steve Baker had also stepped down.
The resignations come two days after the cabinet approved the plan in a bid to unblock negotiations with Brussels at a meeting at the prime minister’s country retreat at Chequers outside London.
Davis said the plan would “make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real.”
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 EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense.”
“I am also unpersuaded that our negotiating approach will not just lead to further demands for concessions,” he said, concluding that his post required “an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript.”
May replied in a letter saying that her Brexit plan “will undoubtedly mean the returning of powers from Brussels to the United Kingdom” and was in line with her commitment to leave the European single market and customs union.

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