Brexit negotiations have been thrown into chaos by the resignation of senior figures in the cabinet, including the Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab.
The resignations come merely hours after Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that the cabinet had agreed the government “should agree the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the Outline Political Declaration,” which she said was “a decisive step which enables us to move on and finalise the deal in the days ahead.”
These words already look hollow because, at the time of writing, the Prime Minister has been hit with five cabinet resignations, despite the collective backing that was announced.
Chief amongst those is the Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab. He was joined by Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey; Shailesh Vara, Junior Northern Ireland Minister; Suella Braverman, a junior minister in the Department for Exiting the EU; and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, PPS to the Education Ministers.
It also follows the resignation of Rail Minister Jo Johnson, who has seemingly thrown his weight behind the idea of a second referendum.
Dominic Raab is the most high profile figure to go in this latest round of cabinet changes, because he is the man appointed to negotiate a deal with the EU.
He had been in the role for only a few months, following the resignation of his predecessor in the role, David Davis.
Announcing his resignation, Dominic Raab said that he “cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”
He said that he believes the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland “presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom,” while also stating that he can’t support the indefinite backstop agreement, which “amounts to a hybrid of the EU customs union and single market obligations.”
Time is running out to agree a satisfactory deal, given that the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and any deal has to be agreed upon in Parliament.