British government plunged into fresh chaos as Brexit ministers resign

Brexit countdown Have minds changed

Davis is said to have had a "you go, we go" pact with Baker and Suella Braverman, another DexEU minister.

The Press Association news agency, the BBC and others say Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned Sunday, 48 hours after May announced that her divided government had at last agreed on a plan for ties with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves next year.

European Union officials and diplomats will this week pore over the fine print of the prime minister's white paper after a Chequers statement created to preserve Conservative unity.

His resignation comes days after Theresa May secured the cabinet's backing for her Brexit plan despite claims from Brexiteers that it was too "soft". He was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties.

Davis and fellow Brexit backer Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson both agreed to support May's proposal for a softer divorce than she had originally planned, and it seemed she had survived the storm.

"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.

The North Belfast MP said the DUP's "top priority" was protecting the Union but that on Brexit the government had to deliver "control of our borders, our laws and our money" while still retaining "sensible relationships" with EU countries.

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Brexiteer Cabinet minister Michael Gove admitted the plan was not everything he had hoped for, but he was a "realist" and the Prime Minister's lack of a Commons majority meant the "parliamentary arithmetic" was a factor in deciding what could be adopted.

Since Friday, several more Conservative MPs were said to have added their names to a list supporting a vote of no confidence, although No 10 insiders have indicated May would fight any challenge and the numbers looked to be in her favour.

Under the proposals, yet to be presented to the European Union, there would be a free trade area for industrial and agricultural goods, based on a "common rule book" and a "combined customs territory".

In a resignation letter circulated by local reporters, Davis told May he has repeatedly disagreed with the government over the previous year and that it is looking "less and less likely" that the government can deliver Brexit per voters' wishes. Mr Rees-Mogg refused to support her and said that "she would be well-advised to revisit her Brexit policy".

He also served as a reservist in the Special Air Service, the British army's elite special force unit, before entering politics.

"Fantastic news. Well done David Davis for having the principal and guts to resign", Brexit campaigner and Conservative lawmaker Andrea Jenkyns said on Twitter.

He was well acquainted with the Brussels beat: he was Europe minister between 1994 and 1997 as the European issue tore apart then Conservative prime minister John Major's government.

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