- Minister in charge of negotiating Brexit resigned at midnight over Theresa May’s plans for the UK’s exit
- Mr Davis said her policies announced at Chequers would leave UK in a ‘weak’ negotiating position with EU
- The departure of Mr Davis is a huge blow to Mrs May who insist she has set out the ‘right Brexit for Britain’
- PM is due to face the Commons later before making potentially stormy appearance before Tory backbenchers
- Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would oppose the PM’s proposals and accused her of trying to ‘bounce’ ministers
- MRs May’s chief of staff has been briefing Opposition MPs to try to win wider support for her Brexit blueprint
Theresa May is today pleading for Labour MPs to help force her ‘stinker’ Brexit plan through Parliament in the wake of David Davis’s dramatic resignation.
The Prime Minister has drafted Dominic Raab into Cabinet replace Mr Davis as she tries to quell as a massive backlash from Eurosceptics that threatens to sweep her out of Downing Street.
But the Tory wrath has been inflamed further after it emerged that Mrs May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell is briefing Opposition MPs in a bid to win them over to her ‘third way’ proposals for future trade with the EU.
Brexiteers warned that the premier will not survive if she has to rely on ‘socialist’ votes to get the measures through the Commons – amid calls for Boris Johnson to take up cudgels by following Mr Davis out of the door.
In a devastating verdict on the plans, which Mrs May pushed through Cabinet on Friday night, Mr Davis complained that she had undermined him by ignoring his views on a ‘significant number of occasions’ and put the UK on track to be humbled by Brussels.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Davis said his ‘conscience’ would not allow him to continue as he did not ‘believe’ in the plan. He insisted he had been ‘clear’ at the Chequers showdown that he did not back the blueprint and the EU would just take advantage.
‘They’ll take what we offer already and then demand some more. That’s what I fear,’ he said.
‘We’re giving too much away, too easily, and that to me is a very dangerous strategy.’
The appointment of Mr Raab, seen as a ‘true believer’ in Brexit, will calm nerves on the Tory benches somewhat. A Leave campaigner in the referendum, he has been promoted from housing minister.
But all eyes are now on Mr Johnson, who is said to have branded the blueprint a ‘t***’ during the Cabinet showdown. He has so far remain ominously silent, amid contradictory claims over whether he is attending the Cobra emergency meeting on the Amesbury nerve agent poisonings.
Allies of Mrs May fear a vote of confidence is now more likely to happen than not – with 48 letters to the ruling 1922 committee needed to trigger one.
But she faces a torrid time when she makes a statement to the Commons on the Brexit plan later, and then addresses Tory backbench MPs this evening.
“We can’t go on like this. Britain needs a functioning Government.”
Labour MPs have been asked to attend a meeting with Mrs May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell today, in an attempt to win them over to the PM’s Chequers deal – which could be the Tories’ only chance to get the plans successfully through the House of Commons.
Allies of Mr Davis said he decided to quit because he felt the PM’s proposals for a common rulebook with the EU and plans to keep Britain tied to 40 years of EU laws broke the Tory manifesto and Mrs May’s own red lines on leaving.
Sarah O’Grady, wife of Mr Davis’s chief of staff Stewart Jackson, said Mr Davis wanted to “honour manifesto promises to Britons”.
She added: “DD decided he couldn’t sellout his own country.”
Mr Davis’s department – technically in charge of Brexit negotiations – had been kept in the dark over the PM’s final Brexit blueprint that was presented to the Cabinet on Friday.
He was understood only to have seen the plans at the same time as other Cabinet ministers on Thursday afternoon.
He and Mr Johnson were furious at the PM for showing the proposals to German Chancellor Angela Merkel before them.
LONDON (Reuters) – David Davis thrust Prime Minister Theresa May’s government into crisis by resigning as Brexit negotiator and publicly denouncing her strategy as a betrayal of voters’ wishes that risked undermining British interests.
What happens next? Following are some scenarios.
May’s survival will depend on keeping other senior cabinet ministers in the government. All eyes are on Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is due to speak at a diplomatic conference later on Monday, and Environment Secretary Michael Gove.