May continues losing ‘Brexiteers’
By Florence Brock
NAPLES -Theresa May’s government continues losing pieces of her government after Minister of Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson resigns, in the latest domino effect of the British Prime Minister’s ‘soft’ Brexit line.
Just hours after fellow Minister David Davis handed in his resignation (after deeming May’s Brexit strategy too light and weakening for Britain), key ‘Brexiteer’ Minister Boris Johnson walked into his fellow cabinet member’s footsteps.
Having conducted divorce negotiations with the European Union until now, Minister David Davis stepped down Monday after dissenting to May’s recent post-Brexit political line.
As British nationals residing in Italy remain concerned over how Brexit will affect their rights and status, the internal battle continues over Prime Minister May’s proposed ‘soft Brexit’, criticised by conservatives as a “betrayal” to the 2016 referendum results.
An exponent of the Euro-sceptical Tories, Davis could not digest the outcome of last Friday’s cabinet meeting when May imposed her new ‘lighter’ strategy. After a few days of thinking things over, the minister caused an internal tear by resigning. He was shortly followed by undersecretary Steve Baker.
The question of internal dissent and government criticism concerns the transition period after Brexit and designing future relations with the European community.
May has been accused of backing a ‘mild’ line to post-Brexit based on aperture to the EU in the hypothesis of creating a free trade zone, with common rules, relative to industrial goods and agriculture, in addition to defining new customs regulations with the EU.
“At best, the political direction taken on by May will leave Great Britain in a weaker position for negotiations,” declared Davis. On the other hand, the Prime Minister replied that her position in the negotiations was coherent with the Brexit referendum mandate and with the election manifesto that brought her to lead the country.
The Prime Minister has had to carefully manoeuvre among requests from Brussels and conservatives in her government who have been pushing to adopt a harder line once Britain leaves the European Union.
As a milder plan proposed for post-Brexit has been deemed as too ‘soft’, Britain’s executive branch is in danger of falling to pieces.
On its part, the EU has shown signs of being ready to soften up on its position, yet it remains firm on one fundamental point: the internal market is off limits; it’s either all or nothing. Britain cannot select what points it would like to maintain.
While the British government has proven to hold up, voting to approve the plan, apparently some ministers continue dissenting such as key Brexit leader David Davis who has resigned.
In the meantime, spokesperson for the European Commission Margaritis Schinas has stated: “We have no particular comments to add; we will continue negotiating with Prime Minister Theresa May in ‘good faith’ in order to reach an agreement. President Jean-Claude Juncker has already had a telephone conversation with Theresa May,” she added Monday.
The Prime Minister has chosen 44-year-old Dominic Raab to replace Davis. Until now, Raab covered the position of Vice Minister of Justice and in the past, he was an exponent of the pro-leave movement during the 2016 referendum campaign.