Brexit Secretary David Davis announced his resignation from the U.K. government on Sunday, according to BBC.
Just days before, Prime Minister Theresa May secured cabinet approval for the Chequers agreement, which aims to loosen ties with the European Union. Davis, who felt the agreement was too loose, decided to resign after two years in office. Rumors about Mr. Davis’ possibly resigning had been circulating for months, so his resignation does not come as a surprise.
While the chairman of the Labor Party, Ian Lavery, called the situation “absolute chaos” and claimed the Prime Minister “has authority left,” Conservative MP Peter Bone said that Davis did “the right thing.”
Sarah O’Grady, a Daily Express correspondent and the wife of Davis’ special adviser, Stewart Jackson, tweeted, “DD put country before Party. Agonising decision.” O’Grady also added that, “he couldn’t sell out his own country.”
Shortly afterwards, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted that Mr. Davis was furious after a meeting earlier on, claiming that it was then that Davis concluded he could no longer serve as Brexit Secretary. Another minister is also expected to step down, although it is currently unclear exactly who that will be.
Davis’ resignation comes right before Prime Minister May is expected to face the House of Commons and Tory MPs to detail her strategy for her new Brexit plan.
Davis’ successor is anticipated to be Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who campaigned for Brexit in the 2016 referendum. Gove appeared on BBC on Sunday to encourage the Tory MPs and his colleagues to vote in favor of Prime Minister May’s Brexit strategy.
“We are being generous to the EU, we are showing flexibility. If the EU is not generous and flexible, we may have to contemplate walking away without a deal,” Gove told the BBC. While Gove does not want to have to simply walk away, he warns that the U.K. will do so in March, 2019, if need be.
Prime Minister May’s Chequers statement, as explained by the BBC, proposes the implementation of a mobility framework, which aims to continue to allow U.K. and EU citizens alike to travel to one another’s states, but ultimately requires the freedom of movement to end. For the most part, the Chequers agreement aims to minimize the EU’s influence and control within the U.K. as much as possible, rejecting the jurisdiction of the ECJ and giving Parliament the final say over the implementation of EU rules into U.K. law.