There has been a significant change at the heart of government with a resignation followed by an appointment of a new Brexit secretary. With David Davis resigning this morning, the responsibility for leading the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU now falls to Dominic Raab, the current housing minister and a prominent Leave campaigner in 2016.
Mr Davis resigned as he could no longer abide by the government’s plan for future relations with the EU that was agreed by cabinet at a meeting at Chequers last Friday. He told the BBC that the plan - which presents a ‘softer Brexit’ and new plans for a future customs arrangement with the trade bloc - was not one he could believe in any longer.
He insisted that he was not seeking to undermine or challenge Prime Minster Theresa May. However, with the UK due to leave the EU next March, and the Conservative party relying on support from 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs for key votes, the move has shocked parliament and could yet be symbolic.
New man at the helm
Mr Davis’ replacement, Dominic Raab, is a lawyer who became an MP in 2010. He will lead the day-to-day negotiations with the EU’s Michael Barnier and will lead the team that must come up with solutions for questions regarding the freedom of movement and the trade of goods and services over borders.
Mr Davis believes his replacement will be “very effective” but that he will make him aware of “what the pitfalls are”, after saying that the compromises he’s had to make on Brexit policy had come to a point of going “too far”.
Will this signal another shift in the government’s approach to Brexit?
With any cabinet change there will come new ideas and approaches, and also another repositioning from the PM. While Mr Raab may well ensure continuity in the position as a prominent Leave campaigner like David Davis, the future of the negotiations remains uncertain.
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