FTSE inches up after Brexit minister resigns

David Davis

Representatives for the remaining 27-member states admitted that Mr Davis had been frozen out of the negotiations long ago in favour of Theresa May's top Brexit civil servant Oliver Robbins and that his departure would make little practical difference to the talks.

Davis quit late Sunday, saying he could not support May's plan to maintain close trade and regulatory ties with the European Union, commonly known as a "soft Brexit", after the departure takes place next year.

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned late last night.

The resignations dealt yet another blow to the beleaguered leader, just two days after she announced she had finally united her quarrelsome government behind her plan for a divorce deal with the EU.

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrives at Downing Street ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting last week in London.

Jenkyns said Steve Baker, a junior minister in the Brexit department, had also quit. He argued it gave "away too much too easily" to European Union negotiators.

Conservative MP Marcus Fysh on Monday also refused to give his support to the prime minister, describing the government's policy as a "stinker" and warning: "If Theresa May wants to break her manifesto pledges that is up to her [but] these things have consequences".

"I'm seeking Brexit. The key is that Brexit is delivered properly", he told LBC Radio. "That's not a tenable position".

"All those of us who believe that we want to execute a proper Brexit, and one that is the best deal for Britain, have an opportunity now to get behind the prime minister in order to negotiate that deal", he told the BBC. "Others don't have that same responsibility".

Brexit minister Davis steps down in big blow to May
May replied to his letter to say she did not agree "with your characterisation of the policy we agreed at cabinet on Friday". Davis also served as a reservist in the Special Air Service, the British army's elite special force unit.

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Davis was particularly critical of the proposal for a "common rulebook" to allow free trade in goods, saying this "hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

Brexit supporters argue that the move to follow the EU's rule book on trade will hamper the UK's ability to strike trade deals around the world, and will keep the country subservient to Brussels.

During a 12-hour meeting on Friday, May's fractious cabinet - including Davis - finally agreed on a plan for future trade ties with the EU.

"In his resignation letter, Davis said the "'common rule book' policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the European Union and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense".

May won the backing of her Cabinet on Friday for a plan that would create a "U.K. -EU free trade area".

Some euroskeptic lawmakers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer, such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who in the past has disagreed publicly with his boss.

Johnson has not commented publicly since Friday.

He became the public face of Brexit, leading the British delegation in talks with Brussels, although his role had been increasingly overshadowed in recent months as May and her aides took a bigger role in the negotiating strategy. Jacob Rees-Mogg has also suggested other Tory Eurosceptic MPs will follow suit.

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