Dominic Raab replaces David Davis as Brexit secretary


Housing minister Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new Brexit secretary, taking over from David Davis.

The pro-Leave MP for Esher and Walton, who has also served in the Justice Department, will most likely appease some of the more ardent Brexiters, though he has not yet publicly offered a view of the position agreed at Chequers, which prompted Davis' resignation late last night.

Davis said he could not back Theresa May's new policy on post-Brexit trade, which he claimed would "leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one".

During an interview with the BBC this morning, Davis insisted his departure would not damage the UK's position because the Prime Minister was the "primary negotiator".

Read more: David Davis: May's Brexit policy is 'sword of Damocles'

Davis has spent just four hours in the EU since the start of the year, while civil servant Olly Robbins has been there most weeks. Robbins and Davis fell out last year, resulting in the senior adviser moving from the Department for Exiting the EU to report directly into May.

Robbins' continued presence is viewed as toxic by Brexiter MPs.

One former Cabinet minister told City A.M.: "She could put Donald Duck in the role, it won't make a jot of difference. It's just window dressing… As long as Robbins is there it won't make a difference who is in the role."

But another Leave figure said Raab's appointment was "good for the cause, if not his long-term leadership ambitions".

Davis' resignation has been hailed by pro-Brexit Conservatives as proof that May must back down from her "discredited" policy, which many have accused of being "Brino" – Brexit in name only.

The resignations of Davis and his deputy Steve Baker may just be the first.

City A.M. understands that foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been urged by his people to jump ship over the proposals, which he blasted the night before, and sought to rally the support of other would-be rebels, before ultimately signing up to them.

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