Housing Minister Dominic Raab Replaces David Davis as UK’s Brexit Secretary
44-year-old lawyer Dominic Raab, until now Housing Minister, has been appointed as the UK’s new Brexit Secretary, hours after David Davis quit the job.
Davis resigned as Brexit Secretary late Sunday night, just 48 hours after Prime Minister Theresa May got the Cabinet to back her Brexit plan which stipulates “a free trade for goods” of the UK and the EU, while excluding the vast British services sector.
The UK’s new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was previously Minister of State for Housing at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (from January 9, 2018, to July 9, 2018).
Raab was also Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice from June 2017 until January 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Esher and Walton in May 2010. He has a black belt in karate.
The new Brexit Secretary of the UK was a prominent Leave campaigner during the 2016 referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
Conservative MPs are reported to have welcomed Raab’s appointment, with one describing him as a “highly capable” figure with a clear attention to detail. The opposition Labor Party has not seen the shift as a positive development.
“The deep division at the heart of the Conservative Party has broken out in public and plunged this government into crisis,” said shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer.
“It is now clearer than ever that Theresa May does not have the authority to negotiate for Britain or deliver a Brexit deal that protects jobs and the economy,” he added.
He is now to take over day-to-day negotiations with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, but a final deal on trade and other issues is still being negotiated.
The European Commission has declined to comment on David Davis’ resignation and the ensuing appointment of Dominic Raab as his successor, BBC News reports.
The Commission only said it would continue to negotiate with “good will” to try and secure an agreement on the terms of the UK’s exit and future relations.
“It is not for us, we are here to work,” an EC spokesperson said when asked if David Davis’ resignation as Britain’s Brexit negotiator would pose a problem.
The ruling Conservative Party of British Prime Minister Theresa May only has a majority in the House of Commons with the support of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
The internal divisions among the Tories on May’s Brexit plan, which have been underscored by Davis’ resignation, make it uncertain whether her plan would survive a vote in the Commons.
They have also caused speculations as to whether she might be challenged for her position as Prime Minister.
(Banner image: Gov.uk)