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UK gets new Brexit secretary following series of resignations over Brexit deal

Friday, 16 November, 2018 - 15:44

The UK, entangled in a deep political crisis, has a new Brexit minister. In the wake of Dominic Raab’s resignation, Premier Theresa May named Stephen Barclay to the position. He became the third minister in charge of Brexit since the creation of the post following the referendum of June 23, 2016. The 46 year-old eurosceptic had campaigned for Brexit and was until now secretary of state for health.

His appointment follows a series of resignations by ministers that took place on Thursday. Dominic Raab resigned early Thursday, the day after the agreement reached between London and Brussels on Brexit. In a tweet accompanying his resignation letter, he explained: “I can not in all conscience support the terms proposed for our agreement with the EU. Here is my letter to the Prime Minister explaining my reasons and my respect for her.”

The first to announce her resignation was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Conservative Shailesh Vara. Then, a few minutes later, it was Labour and Pension Minister Esther McVey’s turn to announce her resignation in protest at the Brexit agreement, followed by Suella Braverman, the Brexit undersecretary, and finally Secretary of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan, plunging the country into a new political crisis.

In the aftermath of this difficult day for Theresa May, the Prime Minister has received the support of two heavyweights from her government. Environment Minister Michael Gove, a leader in the Brexit campaign, said he “absolutely” has confidence in Theresa May. “I look forward to continuing to work with all my colleagues in the government and all my colleagues in Parliament to ensure that we get the best for the UK,” he told reporters. And the International Trade Minister, Liam Fox, assured that he too has “full confidence” in Mrs May.

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