UK Brexit cabinet members resign over trade disagreements
© WikiMedia (Robert Sharp)

UK Brexit cabinet members resign over trade disagreements

Within 24 hours, three cabinet members tasked with coordinating the UK’s leave from the European Union known as Brexit [JURIST report] have resigned. The first, Secretary of State David Davis, who submitted his resignation [text, PDF] late Sunday, was shortly followed by a junior secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson announced his resignation [text, via Twitter] Monday morning.

The Brexit “dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt,” Johnson wrote in his resignation letter. “Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic.”

The UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, but those involved have had difficulty agreeing on trade policy between the UK and the EU.

Referencing a meeting last Friday, Davis said in his letter:

In my view the inevitable consequence of the proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real. As I said at the 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 really sense.

Prime Minister Theresa May also submitted a response [letter, PDF] to Davis Sunday, citing her disagreement, and belief that the proposed policy provided a “precise, responsible, and credible basis” for Brexit.

In a statement to Parliament [Guardian report, YouTube] Monday, May said, “We do not agree about the best way of delivering our shared commitment to honor the result of the referendum, but I want to recognize the work of the former Secretary of State [Davis] for exiting the European Union, for the work he did to establish a new department, and to steer through parliament some of the most important legislation for generations.”

Following the Friday meeting, May proposed steps regarding trade [proposal, PDF] with the EU post-Brexit.