politics

Who will replace David Davis as Brexit Secretary and why did he resign?


DAVID Davis has sensationally resigned from his role as Brexit Secretary leaving a gaping hole in the Government.

With just nine months until D-Day, here are all the possible replacements to lead negotiations with the EU.

 David Davis sensationally quit as Brexit Secretary

Reuters

David Davis sensationally quit as Brexit Secretary

Who will replace David Davis as Brexit Secretary?

There are a number of runners and riders that could feel Mr Davis’ shoes.

They are:

Michael Gove

The environment secretary and Brexiteer is one of the favourites.

Gove was behind Vote Leave, which swept to victory in June 2016, and has made a stunning comeback after being fired from his previous cabinet position following the referendum result.

He has been vocal on crucial areas of Brexit – including calling on Britain to withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy.

 Michael Gove could replace David Davis as Brexit Secretary

Gustavo Valiente / i-Images

Michael Gove could replace David Davis as Brexit Secretary

But some backbenchers aren’t keen on Gove leading negotiations because they believe he betrayed Boris Johnson following his decision to stand in the Tory leadership contest in 2016.

David Lidington

The former Europe minister has served in several senior roles and now heads up the Cabinet Office, which the Brexit department was formed out of.

He was a Remain campaigner before the referendum but is widely seen as one of Theresa May’s closest allies.

Lidington is also likely to back the PM’s soft Brexit position.

 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said of May's soft Brexit proposal you 'can't polish a turd'

Getty Images – Getty

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said of May’s soft Brexit proposal you ‘can’t polish a turd’

Boris Johnson 

The Foreign Secretary was a key figure in the Brexit campaign and worked alongside Gove for Vote Leave.

He has fiercely attacked May’s proposals and said the process was like “polishing a turd”.

But he isn’t viewed as a safe pair of hands because he has a tendency to cross lines and shoot his mouth off.

Robin Walker

Walker is the only MP left in the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU).

But the move would be a big step up for the junior minister – although he would be easier to replace with just a mini-shuffle and the appointment would mean a secretary of state wouldn’t need to be moved.

Walker was a Remain campaigner during the referendum but has stood up to defend the government’s Brexit policy in parliament.

 Sajid Javid has impressed by adapting quickly to life in the Home Office

PA:Press Association

Sajid Javid has impressed by adapting quickly to life in the Home Office

Could any others replace Davis?

It’s unlikely as the potential candidates have only been moved into their jobs recently.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson are both pipped to be leadership contenders in future.

But the pair have been in their posts for just one and eight months respectively.

Justice Secretary David Gauke, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt are also all new to their jobs – as is Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons.

Why has David Davis resigned over Brexit?

Mr Davis resigned shortly before midnight on July 8 with a devastating letter warning Mrs May her proposals, agreed last week at Chequers, would leave the UK in “a weak negotiating position” with Brussels.

He said there had been a “significant number of occasions in the last year or so on which I have disagreed with the Number 10 policy line”.

Mr Davis added that he had previously decided to toe the line and remain in the Cabinet “because I considered it was still possible to deliver on the mandate of the referendum, and on our manifesto commitment to leave the Customs Union and the Single Market”.

But he also delivered a damning verdict on the PM’s recent approach, writing: “I am afraid that I think the current trend of policy and tactics is making that look less and less likely.”

Ms May had hoped the Cabinet agreement for a soft Brexit would help her deliver the “right Brexit” for the UK, with an offer to Brussels to share a “common rulebook” on goods and form a new UK-EU free trade area.

But Mr Davis lashed out at the proposals just 48 hours after being part of the Cabinet that agreed them.

What does the Brexit Secretary do?

Davis was responsible for Britain’s exit from the EU.

The role involves overseeing withdrawal negotiations and was created by Theresa May after she was appointed PM.

But Davis has said in the past he doesn’t have to be “very clever” or “know that much” to do his job as Brexit Secretary.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned from his cabinet position over Theresa May’s plan to leave EU





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