British Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns over EU exit plan

Cabinet including Davis at Chequers

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quit on Monday over Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to leave the European Union, the second resignation in a day leaving the British leader's Brexit plans all but in tatters.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the face of the Brexit campaign, is also staying put to defend his vision of the divorce, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

Sterling rose, as traders bet Davis's resignation would not imperil May and instead focused on the newly-announced deal that markets believe makes a "soft Brexit" more likely.

Asked what he would say to colleagues who thought it was time to remove Theresa May, he replied it was "not a good idea" - insisting that she was a "good prime minister".

David Davis' resignation as Brexit Secretary just months before the United Kingdom has to conclude Brexit negotiations, is a crushing blow to Theresa May's authority as prime minister and has put the entire future of her government in doubt.

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Davis said he had left because he feared the European Union would "take what we have offered already and then demand some more".

Davis' resignation was also accompanied by the resignation of his deputy, Brexit minister Steve Baker, and another Brexit minister Suella Braverman has also reportedly resigned.

"It is now clearer than ever that Theresa May does not have the authority to negotiate for Britain or deliver a Brexit deal that protects jobs and the economy".

The former Brexit Secretary added that the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result and the Tory commitments to leave the European Union customs and single markets.

The vast majority of Tory MPs, although far from happy with the current state of May's government, are not yet convinced that the solution is to replace the prime minister.

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May is due to address parliament on Monday to explain her plan for Britain to adopt European Union rules on goods after Brexit, amid anger from MPs in her own party who want a cleaner break and businesses who say it may still cause economic harm. At that point, pro-Brexit Conservatives could vote against the agreement, potentially bringing down the government and throwing the last stage of talks into chaos.

She also said that Environment Secretary Michael Gove is the favourite to take on the vacant post.

But Davis had expressed his unease over a compromise plan right up until the eve of the meeting, writing a letter to May describing her proposal to ease trade and give Britain more freedom to set tariffs as "unworkable".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of a Conservative group of Brexit supporters, said Davis' resignation proved that their concerns were well-founded and signaled that he would not vote for May's plan if it came to a vote in parliament. But some senior pro-Brexit ministers have backed May's plan.

May is due to meet her lawmakers later on Monday.

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