- Christopher Furlong / Getty
- Brexit Secretary David Davis “furious” with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove for trying to meddle in negotiations.
- The foreign secretary and environment secretary sent a memo to Theresa May expressing concern about preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
- Davis is also preparing to do battle with Conservative rebels who are threatening to vote against the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
LONDON – Fighting between Brexiteers in Theresa May’s Cabinet is threatening to cause yet more delay to Brexit negotiations and destabilise the government as parliament attempts to push through crucial Brexit legislation.
Brexit Secretary David Davis is reportedly “furious” with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove after they wrote a memo to May expressing their concerns about preparations for exit day, according to the Times.
“He [Davis] was furious with Boris and Michael for their intervention… He wants to demonstrate he’s in charge and in control. He’s angry that other people are interfering,” an ally of Davis, quoted by the Times, said.
In the memo to the prime minister, Johnson and Gove said they were “profoundly worried” that certain parts of government were not sufficiently prepared for the possibility of Britain leaving the EU with no deal.
Relations between Davis and his two fellow Brexiteers are poor. A senior ally of the latter quoted by the Times branded Davis a “f—wit* and claimed he does not have the respect of Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.
Johnson and Gove jointly-ran pro-Brexit campaign group Vote Leave and Gove supported Johnson’s bid to replace David Cameron as prime minister before ditching his campaign and launching a bid of his own
Commons preparing for Brexit showdown
Davis doesn’t just have Cabinet colleagues to worry about but Tory rebels who are refusing to back down from threats to oppose the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which enters committee stage today.
The Brexit Secretary announced on Monday that MPs will be given the right to vote down a final Brexit deal at the end of Article 50 negotiations. Davis’ announcement was an apparent attempt to head off a proposed amendment to the Bill which called for Parliament to be given a meaningful vote on a final deal.
However, Conservative rebels were not satisfied by the concession, pointing out that Britain will simply leave the EU with no deal at all if Parliament chooses to reject the exit package he brings back from Brussels in 2019.
They were also unhappy with the government’s plan to enshrine in the legislation March 29 as the official exit day, claiming this would mean Brexit could take place before Parliament has the chance to give its consent.
The concession also failed to address concerns about “Henry VIII” powers and how many laws the government will be able to alter or remove altogether without parliamentary approval. Tory rebels are confident that over 10 Conservative MPs will vote in favour of the amendment on “Henry VIII” and inflict defeat on May’s government, Sky reports.
In total, more than 400 amendments and new clauses to the historic Bill have been tabled.