British government plunged into fresh chaos as Brexit ministers resign

Brexit countdown Have minds changed

Mr Davis shocked the Prime Minister by telling her he could not support the Brexit plan agreed at Chequers on Friday, prompting speculation that a wave of Cabinet resignations could follow.

Davis was the front-runner in the 2005 Conservative Party leadership contest, but lost out to David Cameron, shedding momentum after a party conference speech fell flat.

In his letter to the prime minister explaining his decision, Mr Davis said he felt it was "less and less likely" that Britain would actually leave the Customs Union and the Single Market, articles of faith for Brexiteers.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Davis' resignation "at such a crucial time" shows that May "has no authority left and is incapable of delivering Brexit".

Conservative MP William Wragg, who campaigned for Brexit, said the resignation was "the right thing to do" while Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, who quit a junior government role earlier this year to "fight for Brexit", said it was "fantastic news", adding: "Well done David Davis for having the principle and guts to resign".

"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.

"That is not something that this country voted for; it's not what the Prime Minister promised..."

Some 34 per cent thought she should keep hold of the reigns, 24 per cent said she should resign now, while 24 per cent said she should step down after Britain formally leaves the European Union in March next year.

After Cameron resigned following defeat in the Brexit referendum, Davis was appointed back in government by May, Cameron's replacement.

The government still has to negotiate a deal with Brussels, where sources warned the customs compromise looked very similar to the so-called new customs partnership the European Union rejected as "magical thinking" 11 months ago.

He was joined by one other minister in his department, Steve Baker, and there are many reports that Suella Braverman has also quit.

May is due to brief lawmakers Monday on the plan hammered out during a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat.

The Prime Minister will insist the plan, which would see the UK share a "common rulebook" for goods as part of a proposal to create a UK-EU free trade area, still meets her Brexit red lines.

"And I think without David Davis there, without his imprimatur, it will be very hard for them to get the support of Conservative MPs and therefore the prime minister would be well advised to reconsider them".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group of Brexiteer backbenchers, was openly touted as the only candidate who could deliver Brexit by one MP, Andrew Bridgen.

It would involve a "facilitated customs arrangement" meant to remove the need for a hard border in Ireland, and the creation of a UK-EU free-trade area, in which the UK would abide by a "common rule book" of EU regulations. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said Sunday that it did not contain everything he wanted but "I'm a realist".

Boris Johnson, a leading critic of the plans, spent several minutes at the Chequers summit spelling out his concerns, saying anybody defending the deal would be "polishing a turd" if they tried then to sell it to the party and the public.

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