|Author (Person)||Thomson, Ian|
|Series Title||ESO In Focus|
|Series Details||July 2018|
|Content Type||News, Topic Guide | In Focus|
The United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May hosted a Cabinet away day at Chequers on the 6 July 2018 to discuss and collectively agree the UK’s detailed vision for a new EU-UK relationship after Britain's departure after March 2019.
Over the preceding months it had been difficult negotiating effectively with the EU partly due to the divergent views within the UK Cabinet and the Conservative Party on Brexit issues.
At the end of the 6 July 2018 Theresa May was able to announce that the Cabinet had agreed to a new position.
Commentators noted that Brexit-supporting Cabinet ministers did not like the deal agreed but no minister formally resigned in protest.
However from late on the 9 July 2018 a number of dramatic resignations of Brexit-supporting Ministers began.
David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, announced his resignation in a letter to the Prime Minister. He said that he could not be a 'reluctant conscript' to the plan agreed at Chequers, which he said was 'certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense'. He went on to say the 'proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real. ... the 'common rule book' policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense'.
In response Theresa May said she did not 'not agree with your characterisation of the policy we agreed at Cabinet on Friday'.
Steve Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, also resigned.
Dominic Raab, a pro-Brexit Minister, was appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 9 July 2018.
On the afternoon of the 9 July 2018 the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also resigned.
In his resignation letter Boris Johnson said the described the 'Brexit dream' was 'dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt'. He also suggested that the plan agreed by the Cabinet on the 6 July 2018 meant that the UK was 'truly headed for the status of colony'.
Jeremy Hunt was announced as the new Foreign Secretary.
Theresa May defended the agreement of the 6 July 2018 and her own position as leader of the Conservative Government both in the House of Commons and to a meeting of Conservative Party backbenchers. Commentators suggested that a leadership challenge to Theresa May was possible.
Further less high-profile resignations within the Conservative Government and Party took place in the following days, adding to the pressure on Theresa May.
Following on from the decisions made at the Chequers meeting the UK Government published on the 12 July 2018 a White Paper The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Theresa May was forced to keep up her defence of her proposals from attacks by both Leave and Remain Conservatives. For example, the former Minister and Remain supporting Justine Greening, MP, called in a newspaper article on the 16 July 2018 for the holding of a second referendum to allow the public to have a say on the proposed Brexit deals.
A particular focus of the week beginning the 16 July 2018 were amendments proposed in the House of Commons to aspects of the Taxation (Cross Border Trade) Bill (sometimes called the Customs Bill), and the Trade Bill. Some of the amendments proposed on staying in the Customs Union with the EU, while others proposed joining a Customs Union with the EU.
|Countries / Regions||United Kingdom|