Dominic Raab resigns as Brexit Secretary

Raab says he could not support draft Brexit deal

Dominic Raab resigns as Brexit Secretary

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday saying he could not support Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan, which the Cabinet approved with majority of the votes yesterday.

"Today, I have resigned as Brexit Secretary," Raab said on Twitter.

"I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU. Here is my letter to the PM explaining my reasons, and my enduring respect for her," he wrote.

Raab said in his resignation letter that he could not support the proposed deal because of two reasons.

“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,” Raab added.

Raab has become the second Brexit secretary to resign from May’s Cabinet. His predecessor David Davis resigned in July over his varied views on Brexit from those of the prime minister’s after the revelation of the Chequers – a roadmap Brexit plan by May.

“Above all, I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election. This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” Raab said. 

The draft Brexit deal reached between the U.K. and EU was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

May said the draft agreement was “the best that could be negotiated”.

The EU said an emergency Brexit summit will be held on Nov. 25 in Brussels.

Under the proposed deal, the EU accepted the idea of whole-U.K. customs union with the bloc in a major concession to please U.K.'s demands to protect its territorial integrity.

A previous EU version of backstop would keep Northern Ireland anchored in the EU single market and customs union until a solution is found on the border issue in the island of Ireland.

In return, Britain is reported to have agreed that it will not be allowed to exit the backstop unless and until the EU is convinced that there is no prospect of a return to a hard border.

The full details of the deal are expected to come to daylight on Thursday with May’s statement to the parliament.

The U.K. is set to leave the EU in March 2019.