Whoever assumed that since the British government had agreed on a deal that allowed it to exit European Union trade bloc there would be fewer headwinds facing the Theresa May government, was wrong. Within 24 hours of the announcement of a final draft between UK and EU officials has resulted in the resignation of two senior ministers from the British government.
One of those to resign is Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. Raab had been spear-heading the Brexit negotiations with the EU. Soon after, Brexit-backing Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey also quit. These two were followed by the resignations of two junior ministers, two ministerial aides and the Conservative party's vice chairman.
Raab is the second Brexit Secretary to quit in four months. Soon after announcing his decision, he posted on Twitter he could not "in good conscience" support the deal.
Today, I have resigned as Brexit Secretary. 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. pic.twitter.com/tf5CUZnnUz
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) November 15, 2018
Raab’s resignation which comes on the heels of hardline pro-Brexiteers opposing the deal, signals that Theresa May is facing considerable opposition from within her own party. Leading pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has already called for a vote of no-confidence against May.
He says that the new draft deal "is not Brexit" because it would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU, potentially for an indefinite period. He said the British prime minister was "losing the confidence of Conservative members of Parliament" and wants her replaced by a more firmly pro-Brexit politician.
These tumultuous going-ons have led in turn for the EU officials to say that they are not willing to re-negotiate the current draft and expect this to be the Brexit deal between the two sides.
But despite the growing opposition to her leadership and to her deal, Theresa May said she believed "with every fiber of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people." "Am I going to see this through? Yes," she said.