David Davis quits as Brexit Secretary in major blow to May

Theresa May and David Davis

However, he also reportedly threatened to resign from government on a number of occasions, most recently during talks to resolve a dispute with pro-EU Conservative lawmakers who wanted a greater say for parliament over the final Brexit deal.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned because he was not willing to be "a reluctant conscript" to Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to leave the European Union, delivering a blow to a British leader struggling to end divisions among her ministers. It was reported that the former prime minister David Cameron had been drafted in before the meeting to urge him not to resign.

His resignation was warmly welcomed by hardline Eurosceptics in the Tory ranks who were already expressing reservations about Mrs May's leadership after her Cabinet agreed a plan which would keep the United Kingdom closely tied to Brussels.

Scotland will not be protected "in any real way from the damage of Brexit" in Theresa May's new blueprint for the UK's future relationship with the European Union, Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell has warned. There was no immediate comment from Baker. Davis 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 with Britain's biggest trading partner.

In his resignation letter, he said the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result and the Tory commitments to leave the EU customs union and single market.

Michael Gove has urged Eurosceptic Conservative MPs to rally behind Theresa May as she prepares to face down her backbench critics in person before publishing a white paper on leaving the EU.

Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019.

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On Monday, May is due to brief MPs on the plan hammered out during a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat.

"An egg which is very softly boiled isn't boiled at all; a very soft Brexit means we haven't left, we're simply a rule-taker", Rees-Mogg observed after May's plans were announced.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson backed the proposals at Chequers, despite claiming that defending the plans was like "polishing a turd" during the meeting.

The letters were apparently not orchestrated by Jacob Rees-Mogg or his European Research Group (ERG) faction of Tory backbenchers, which comprises the bulk of the parliamentary party's Brexiteers, but were a "spontaneous" response to the Prime Minister "traducing those who voted to leave [the] EU".

"I would like to thank you warmly for everything you have done over the past two years as Secretary of State to shape our departure from the European Union", she said.

He spoke out after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that "it hasn't taken long for the #chequers plan to start to unravel".

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