Brexit Checkers – July 2018

In early July 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May forged an agreement from her cabinet on Brexit  – an agreement that fell apart starting two days later with a series of resignations, 10 in total including two of the three major cabinet Brexit hardliners David Davis and Boris Johnson.

Brexit hardliners further weakened her negotiating plan in Parliamentary votes days later. 

On July 6 Theresa May gathered her cabinet at her country retreat Chequers to get their agreement on a Brexit negotiating position. When the day ended she said she had it – reported overseas here by the France 24 tv channel and the New York Times.

Two days later the minister responsible for negotiating Brexit – David Davis – resigned, saying he could not support her position on Brexit and potentially upsetting her “delicate” balancing act of staying in power. He was replaced within 12 hours by another pro-Brexit cabinet minister Dominic Raab.

Then Boris Johnson, the foreign minister and most prominent Brexiteer, resigned. That was just 30 minutes before the prime minister was scheduled to meet with her members of Parliament to seek their support. 

On July 16 and 17 she managed to get Parliamentary approval of both her customs and trade legislation in preparation for Brexit – by the narrowest of margins and with questionable tactics.
In the process she accepted four amendments to her plans from hard-line Brexiters and still managed to get all but a handful of her Conservative party to support her.

Cabinet resignations
Brexit hardliners weaken PM’s negotiating plan
Analysis in the BBC’s Briefing Room
Agreement on Brexit position at Chequers
France 24 on Chequers
New York Times on Chequers
David Davis resigns
David Davis upsets “delicate” balancing act
David Davis replaced
Dominic Raab replaces David Davis
CNN on Boris Johnson resigns
Washington Post on Boris Johnson resigns
PM gets Parliamentary approval on customs and trade
Narrow margin
Questionable tactics
PM accepts Brexiter amendments