Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigns over Irish backstop

The Brexit Secretary resigned from the cabinet citing that he ‘cannot in good conscience support’ the prime minister’s draft agreement with the EU.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that she had garnered support for her Brexit deal with the European Union late on Wednesday, concluding an emergency cabinet meeting that had begun at 2pm that day.

But despite the outward display of support for her draft Brexit agreement, there were several cabinet ministers that were unhappy with May’s plan, with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab opting to resign as Brexit Secretary over his inability to support her plan.

Raab outlined why he couldn’t support the proposed deal in his resignation letter:

‘First I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom,’ he said. ‘Second, I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit.’

‘The terms of the backstop amount to a hybrid of the EU customs union and single market obligations,’ he added. ‘No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangement.’

Raab argued that if Britain were to accept the arrangement in its current form that it will serve as poor starting point by which to negotiate the UK’s ‘future economic partnership’.

There are rumours that after Raab’s departure there may be further resignations and even a vote of no confidence in May that could see her lose her premiership.

‘Raab's resignation marks the end of PMs Withdrawal Agreement,’ remain-backing Conservative MP Anna Soubry tweeted. ‘This is v serious the PM will clearly be considering her position. My own view is that we need a Govt of National Unity and we need it now.’

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