U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

Britain's most senior official in charge of negotiating the country's exit from the European Union resigned Sunday, two days after Prime Minister Theresa May announced she had finally united her quarrelsome government behind a plan for Brexit.

The Press Association news agency, the BBC and others said Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned Sunday.

Davis's late-night resignation undermined May's fragile government. He was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties.

His resignation letter says that May's Brexit policy will leave the U.K. in "at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one."

May responds

In a written statement, May said she is sorry Davis has resigned but that the negotiating position is consistent with the mandate of the EU referendum and her election manifesto. 

On Friday, Davis and the rest of May's fractious cabinet agreed on a plan for ties with the EU after the U.K. leaves next year.

On Monday, May is due to brief lawmakers on the plan agreed upon by the cabinet during its 12-hour meeting. It seeks to keep the U.K. and the EU in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products.

Some Brexit-supporting lawmakers are angry at the proposals, saying they will keep Britain tethered to the bloc and unable to change its rules to strike new trade deals around the world.

The staunchly pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Fantastic news. Well done David Davis for having the principal and guts to resign."

Jenkyns says Steve Baker, a junior minister in the Brexit department, has also quit.

Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019. The EU has warned Britain that time is running out to seal a divorce deal.

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