Executive Intelligence Review


May’s Brexit Fiasco Three Ministers To Exit Shaky Government

July 9, 2018 (EIRNS)—On July 6, following a day-long cabinet meeting at the prime minister’s official country residence Chequers, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her cabinet was in full agreement with her Brexit strategy. Yet 48 hours later, three of her ministers resigned in quick succession. The resignations were led by May’s top Brexit negotiator David Davis, who said he did not agree with the cabinet decision, which he considered a “soft” Brexit. His resignation was followed by his deputy at the Department for Exiting the EU, Minister Steve Baker. Within a few hours, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson handed in his resignation. The Guardian reported that after the Chequers meeting, Johnson had characterized efforts to sell May’s Brexit plan as “polishing a turd.”

Davis’s resignation letter said he would not be a reluctant conscript to the plan agreed at Chequers, which he said was “certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense.” May named Housing Secretary Dominic Raab to replace Davis. She has yet to name the new Foreign Secretary.

While May claims to be confident about the survival of her government, the Guardian writes that the stage could be set for at least 48 MPs to send letters to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of a powerful backbench committee, which could lead to a call for a vote of no confidence.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, questioned whether May could or should survive. Corbyn tweeted: “David Davis resigning at such a crucial time shows @Theresa_May has no authority left and is incapable of delivering Brexit. With her Government in chaos, if she clings on, it’s clear she’s more interested in hanging on for her own sake than serving the people of our country.”

Tom Watson, Deputy Labour Party leader said the twin resignations of Davis and Johnson showed the government is in “meltdown,” and that

“This is complete and utter chaos. The country is at a standstill with a divided and shambolic government. The Prime Minister can’t deliver Brexit and has zero authority left.”

And Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party and Scotland’s First Minister, tweeted: “The Chequers unity didn’t last long. This U.K. government is in utter chaos and ebbing authority by the day. What a shambles.”

Today, in an afternoon address to Parliament, and debate, presenting her rather unconvincing commitment to negotiating a Brexit, May received a delightful roasting by Corbyn. Of the 600 or so MPs present at the start, odds and ends kept departing after each question she answered, to the point that within two hours, only a few dozen MPs remained in the Parliament chamber. She admitted to a waning audience that the negotiating deadline might not be reached and there might not be a Brexit agreement.

Speculation that more ministers will resign abounds.