The former Brexit Secretary said there is a “big majority” ready to reject Mrs May’s proposals. And he urged the PM to urgently change course and renegotiate for a free trade deal which “doesn’t give up all the powers which we promised to take back”. But Mr Davis dodged questions on whether he would throw his hat into the ring to become a “caretaker Brexit Prime Minister” if Mrs May is ousted.
His attack on the Government’s divorce terms comes after a defiant Mrs May vowed to stay and fight for her Brexit vision, insisting her deal is the best outcome for Britain.
At a press conference in Downing Street held after a barrage of resignations earlier today, the PM said she has no intention of stepping down.
Mr Davis’ successor, Dominic Raab, resigned earlier today over Mrs May’s Brexit plan. He accused the EU of “blackmail” over Britain’s draft deal and warned signing up to the terms could threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom.
Esther McVey heaped more pressure by quitting as Work and Pensions Secretary shortly after Mr Raab this morning.
Jacob Rees-Mogg added to the Prime Minister’s misery by tabling a letter of no confidence in Mrs May as rumours grow of an imminent vote on her leadership.
Meanwhile, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has reportedly been offered the role of Brexit Secretary – something Mrs May refused to confirm at this afternoon’s press conference.
Keep up to date with all of today’s Brexit news and the latest on Theresa May’s deal below:
Brexit latest: David Davis predicted Theresa May’s deal will be rejected by MPs
Ms Sturgeon said the EU would likely be open to Brexit terms which include single market membership
10.40pm: EU ‘would be willing to re-negotiate’ exit terms, Sturgeon claims
Nicola Sturgeon says EU leaders would likely reopen Brexit talks if Theresa May asks for divorce terms which include continued membership of the bloc’s single market and customs union.
The Scottish First Minister said Brussels may be willing to restart negotiations if Mrs May’s deal is defeated in the Commons.
Ms Sturgeon said it is “difficult to see” how the PM could get the necessary votes to get her proposals through Parliament.
And she said “instead of just waiting for it to be defeated, right now we should be looking to get a better alternative on the table”.
Speaking at the Scottish Federation of Small Businesses’ annual dinner in Glasgow this evening, the SNP leader insisted that if Mrs May’s proposals are voted down, leaving the European Union without a divorce deal is “not inevitable”.
She argued it was “time to get something sensible on the table” as an alternative.
She said: “People will say the EU is not going to negotiate any other deal, well I don’t suspect they will want to go back to the drawing board.
“But if the UK was to come forward with what I think is the sensible option, what we in the Scottish Government have argued all along, that the UK is leaving the EU but is going to stay in the single market, all of it, and the customs union, I think there would be a willingness to negotiate that on the part of the EU.”
10.20pm: Gove rejects Brexit Secretary job
Michael Gove turned down the chance to become Brexit Secretary because the PM refused the demands he attached to his offer.
The Environment Secretary had said he would accept the position if he was given authority to renegotiate the deal secured by Mrs May.
But the PM “wouldn’t accept his condition”, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said in a tweet.
10.15pm: Theresa May to take questions from the public TOMORROW
The PM will continue in her bid to sell her Brexit deal to the British public with an appearance on LBC radio tomorrow morning.
Mrs May will join Nick Ferrari to take questions from 8am.
Penny Mourdant is reportedly pushing for a free vote on Mrs May’s Brexit deal
9.30pm: Penny Mordaunt pushing for free vote on Brexit
International development secretary Penny Mordaunt is understood to have used meetings with the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary today to demand a free vote on the Brexit deal.
Senior ministers are bound by the convention of collective responsibility, meaning they must present a united front alongside their Cabinet colleagues and vote along party lines.
Traditionally, ministers who cannot support the Government resign from the Cabinet, at which point they are free to vote however they wish.
But Ms Mordaunt, who campaigned for Leave during the 2016 referendum, is reportedly urging Mrs May to allow Cabinet members to vote with their conscience while still retaining their Cabinet roles.
8.35pm: ‘It will be REJECTED’ – David Davis addresses Theresa May’s deal
David Davis has predicted Theresa May’s deal will be voted down by MPs when it comes before Parliament.
Speaking to Sky News, the former Brexit Secretary said: “I think it’ll come to the House of Commons, it’ll be rejected, and the Government will have to go back to the Union with another alternative.
“It looks to me as there is no majority for this in the House of Commons. Indeed there’s a big majority against it.”
Mr Davis dodged a question on whether he would consider becoming a “caretaker Brexit Prime Minister” if Theresa May is ousted.
He said because he was in Washington it would be inappropriate to talk about Mrs May’s leadership.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis predicted Theresa May’s deal will not survive a Commons vote
7.35pm: Resignations and letters of no confidence – what to watch out for in the coming days
Theresa May has faced one of her most difficult days as Prime Minister which has seen a barrage of ministers quit over her plans for Brexit and Eurosceptic Tories publicly call for her to be replaced.
But the pressure is unlikely to ease in the coming days as Mrs May faces a series further challenges to her divorce deal – and her leadership.
There is intense speculation over the future of Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, with both reportedly prepared to quit.
Mrs May is already faced with replacing the ministers who did resign today and will need to find MPs to fill the positions of Brexit Secretary and Pensions Secretary.
Meanwhile, Brexiteer Tories furious at the PM’s draft deal have called for her to step down as leader.
Jacob Rees-Mogg announced today he had submitted a letter of no confidence in Mrs May to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee.
A total of 48 letters are needed to trigger a vote on her position.
If that happens, Mrs May will require support from 50 percent of the 315 Conservative MPs to stay in office.
Mrs May is facing threats on several fronts – including a potential challenge to her leadership
6.05pm: Michael Gove ‘to RESIGN’ – report
Theresa May’s first choice for Brexit Secretary will resign instead of taking the job, The Times reports.
The Environment Secretary had reportedly told the PM he would accept the role only if he could re-open negotiations with the EU and strike better divorce terms.
But according to The Times, Downing Street is expecting Mr Gove to resign at some point this evening.
Mr Gove has returned home for the evening and there has been no official word on him quitting.
5.47pm: ‘There will be NO second referendum’
Mrs May has reiterated that her Government will not sanction a rerun of the 2016 referendum.
5.45pm: May quizzed on prospect of no Brexit
Asked by Daily Express political editor Macer Hall about the chances of Brexit being delayed or stopped altogether, Mrs May said: “We will be leaving on the 29th of March, 2019.”
5.40pm: May dodges question on new Brexit Secretary
Asked to confirm or deny reports that Environment Secretary Michael Gove has been offered the job of Brexit Secretary, Mrs May dodged the question.
She said: “Michael has been doing an excellent job at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and particularly in his defence of the fishing industry.
“I haven’t appointed a new Department for Exiting the European Union secretary yet and I will, of course, be making appointments in due course.”
Embattled Theresa May gave a press conference at Downing Street
5.30pm: May insists she will NOT step down
Asked if she would resign as Prime Minister if a vote of no confidence by Tory MPs shows she has lost the support of a large part of her party, Mrs May said she had no intention of quitting.
She said: “Am I going to see this through? Yes.
“Leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones.”
5.28pm: ‘This deal is best for Britain’
Mrs May insists her approach throughout the Brexit negotiations has been to put the national interest first.
She said she believes “with every fibre of my being” that her plan is right for Britain.
She said “This deal delivers what people voted for and it is in the national interest.
“And we can only secure it if we unite behind the agreement reached in Cabinet yesterday.
“If we do not move forward with that agreement, nobody can know for sure the consequences that will follow.
“It would be to take a path of deep and grave uncertainty when the Brish people just want us to get on with it.”
Nigel Farage said it ‘might be quite a good thing’ if Michael Gove becomes Brexit Secretary
5.25pm: Theresa May speaking in Downing Street
The Prime Minister has arrived at the podium.
5.14pm: British public REJECTS May’s deal – new poll
Theresa May’s Brexit plan has failed to win the backing of the British public, with an opinion poll suggesting that more than four in 10 Britons oppose it.
A YouGov poll conducted on Thursday after the Prime Minister’s deal with Brussels was unveiled found twice as many people oppose it (42 percent) as support it (19 percent).
Its survey of 3,154 people found that Leave and Remain supporters had similar views on the deal, with 42 percent of Brexit supporters against it, along with 47 percent of pro-EU voters, with 22 percent and 20 percent respectively in favour of it.
5.05pm: May expected to speak imminently
The podium is set up in Downing Street and reporters are taking their seats.
She is expected to take questions from reporters on the details of her Brexit deal. Today’s string of resignations and Mrs May’s continued position as Prime Minister and Tory leader are sure to come up.
4.45pm: Farage backs Gove for Brexit Secretary
The former UKIP leader predicted Theresa May’s time as Prime Minister is close to coming to an end – and backed Michael Gove as a successor to Dominic Raab as Brexit Secretary.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I think we’re getting close to the end of the worst and most duplicitous Prime Minister in British history.”
Asked who should replace Mrs May as PM, Mr Farage said: “Anyone. Anyone who believes in Brexit.”
And asked if he would support Mr Gove taking over as Brexit Secretary – on the condition that he could tear up Mrs May’s deal and re-open talks with Brussels – Mr Farage said: “I think if Michael Gove became Brexit Secretary and we threw this dreadful piece of paper, this worst deal in history, in the bin and started again, that might be quite a good thing.”
Michael Gove is reportedly considering Mrs May’s offer of the Brexit Secretary job
3.50pm: Theresa May to hold press conference at 5pm
The PM will address reporters later this afternoon.
Mrs May had planned a press conference yesterday to discuss her deal but the event was replaced by her a brief statement outside Number 10 after Cabinet talks lasted far longer than scheduled.
3.30pm: Bookies slash odds on second referendum
A repeat of 2016’s vote to leave the European Union is looking more likely, a major bookmaker has predicted.
Coral has slashed the odds of a second Brexit referendum before the end of 2019 to 13-8 from 2-1.
Theresa May has ruled out giving the public a say on the final deal, but Labour has refused to rule out the possibility.
3.15pm: Gove ‘considering Brexit Secretary job’ – but with conditions
Michael Gove is reportedly mulling over Theresa May’s offer to become as Brexit Secretary, but will only take the job if he is allowed to tear up her deal with Brussels and reopen talks.
The Environment Secretary is torn between resigning over Mrs May’s plans for a soft Brexit or accepting the new job, the Daily Telegraph reports.
He is said to be considering the offer but only if he is free to renegotiate the divorce terms and plans for an emergency EU summit to sign off on the deal is pushed back.
Harvey Gavin taking over from Joe Duggan on live reporting.
Theresa May could face a vote of no confidence in her leadership next Tuesday
2.42pm update: May’s last stand? Vote of no confidence “likely on Tuesday”
Theresa May could face a vote of no confidence on Tuesday, it is reported.
The Prime Minister was clinging on to her post on Thursday as the Brexit gale howls around her.
But after a slew of MPs and ministers resigned and with two Cabinet members gone, Mrs May’s day of reckoning could come as early as next week.
Sky News’s Sophy Ridge tweeted: “If 48 letters go in today, the vote likely to happen on Tuesday, from conversations I’m having”.
Henry Smith becomes the latest MP to submit a letter of no confidence
2.31pm update: More MPs’ letters sent to 1922 committee as May’s woes mount
Sir Graham Brady’s inbox is filling up. Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, becomes the latest to submit his letter of no confidence.
Mr Smith has tweeted a photo of his – brief – resignation letter alongside a copy of the draft Brexit document.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has also relased the full text of his no-confidence letter, which is below.
Mr Rees-Mogg wrote: “A few weeks ago, in a conversation with the chief whip I expressed my concern that the prime minister, Mrs. Theresa May, was losing the confidence of Conservative members of parliament and that it would be in the interest of the party and the country if she were to stand aside. I have wanted to avoid the disagreeable nature of a formal vote of no confidence with all the ill will that this risks engendering.
“Regrettably, the draft withdrawal agreement presented to parliament today has turned out to be worse than anticipated and fails to meet the promises given to the nation by the prime minister, either on her own account or on behalf of us all in the Conservative party manifesto.
“That the Conservative and Unionist party is proposing a protocol which would create a different regulatory environment for an integral part of our country stands in contradistinction to our long-held principles. It is in opposition to the prime minister’s clear statements that this was something that no prime minister would ever do and raises questions in relation to Scotland that are open to exploitation by the Scottish National Party.
“The 2017 election manifesto said that the United Kingdom would leave the customs union. It did not qualify this statement by saying that we could stay in it via a backstop while annex 2, Article 3 explicitly says that we would have no authority to set our own tariffs. It is also harder to leave this backstop than it is to leave the EU, there is no provision equivalent to article 50 of the Lisbon treaty.
“The prime minister also promised an implementation period which was the reason for paying £39bn. As was made clear by a House of Lords report in March 2017 there is no legal obligation to pay anything. This has now become an extended period of negotiation which is a different matter.
“The situation as regards the European court of justice appears to have wandered from the clear statement that we are taking back control of our laws. Article 174 makes this clear as does article 89 in conjunction with article 4.
“It is of considerable importance that politicians stick to their commitments or do not make such commitments in the first place. Regrettably, this is not the situation, therefore, in accordance with the relevant rules and procedures of the Conservative party and the 1922 committee this is a formal letter of no confidence in the leader of the party, the Rt. Hon. Theresa May.
“I am copying this letter to the prime minister and the chief whip and although I understand that it is possible for the correspondence to remain confidential I shall be making it public.”
Esther McVey quits following Dominc Raab’s resignation as pressure mounts on PM
2.12pm update: Gove ‘REJECTS Brexit Secretary job offer’
Michael Gove has turned down the Brexit Secretary role, it is reported.
The Environment Secretary is said to have rejected the role after Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday.
According to The Evening Standard, Mr Gove – a key ally of Mrs May – has not confirmed whether he will remain in his current position following the publication of the 585-page draft document, a worrying sign for Theresa May, if true.
The Brexit Secretary gig appears to have all the allure of a poisoned chalice, currently.
There are also rumours the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) could be disbanded.
Jacob Rees-Mogg says he won’t stand for party leadership
1.51pm update: Jacob Rees-Mogg attacks May’s Brexit deal outside Parliament
Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed he won’t stand for Conservative Party leader, and denied today’s wave of no-confidence letters was a “coup” to topple Theresa May.
Speaking outside the House of Commons after he made his explosive decision to submit a letter of no confidence, Mr Rees-Mogg described Brexit as a failure of government.
The arch-Brexiteer said: “The policy does not meet what we promised out voters.
“It did not have any small print saying, ‘oh unless we decide to have a backstop which is a permanent customs union that is harder to leave than leaving the European Union under Article 50’.”
(Incidentally, the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons lasted a whopping two hours and 58 minutes.)
Jacob Rees-Mogg submits letter of no confidence in Theresa May
1.28pm update: Tory civil war as David Mundell attacks Donimic Raab
Scottish Secretary David Mundell has hit out at rebel Dominic Raab after the Brexit Secretary quit his post today.
In a thinly-veiled attack on Raab, he called those behind the resignations “carpet-baggers”.
Mr Mundell, who was earlier also said to be considering his position, said: “I believe the best way of keeping the UK together so to ensure we have a deal as we leave the EU that Brexit delivers for Scotland and the rest of the UK and that is what I am focused on – not being part of some soap opera of resignations going to be bounced into resigning by carpet-baggers.”
1.19pm update: Jacob Rees-Mogg submits letter of no-confidence
After months of criticising the government’s Brexit strategy, Jacob Rees-Mogg has finally announced he is handing in a letter of no confidence, a European Research Group (ERG) spokesman revealed.
The leader of the pro-Brexit ERG’s decision was announced after the group met in Westminster to plot its strategy.
Boris Johnson was among the Tory MPs who attended the ERG summit.
In a dramatic intervention, Mr Rees-Mogg earlier told the House Of Commons he was considering submitting a letter to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee.
A vote on Theresa May’s future now seems inevitable, with reports the required 48 letters of no confidence have already been submitted.
Michael Gove has reportedly been offered the Brexit Secretary job
12.58pm update: Michael Gove ‘offered Brexit Secretary role’
Michael Gove has been offered the job of Brexit Secretary, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The Environment Secretary earlier cancelled a departmental visit to Yorkshire.
Mr Gove was said to have been very supportive of the Prime Minister during Wednesday’s stormy five-hour Cabinet meeting.
He also gave a welcome to Mrs May’s Chequers’ deal in July.
Is he about to step into the hottest of hot seats?
Dominic Raab attacks the EU for “blackmailing” Britain on draft deal
12.28pm update: Raab attacks “two fatal flaws” of Brexit deal
Dominic Raab has given his first interview after resigning as Brexit Secretary, accusing the EU of “blackmailing” Britain.
He told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that the deal had “two major and fatal flaws”.
Mr Raab – who held the role for just 138 days – tabled his resignation in a letter to Theresa May on Thursday.
Mr Raab said: “I have been fighting for a good Brexit deal but the terms proposed to the Cabinet yesterday, I think, had two major and fatal flaws.
“The first is that the terms being offered by the EU threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom.
“And the second is that they would lead to an indefinite, if not permanent, situation where we are locked into a regime with o say over the rules and the laws being applied with no exit mechanism. I think that would be damaging for the economy but devastating for public trust in our democracy.”
“I appreciate we have different views which is why, in fairness, I think she needs a Brexit Secretary that will pursue the deal that she wants to put to the country.
“With conviction, I don’t feel I can do that in good conscience. But I respect her. I hold her in high esteem. I think she should continue but I do think we need to change course on Brexit.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock reportedly warned Cabinet of threat to life after no-deal
12.10pm update: Health Secretary Matt Hancock ‘warns people could die’ in event of a no-deal Brexit
Health Secretary Matt Hancock reportedly told last night’s Cabinet summit “he could not guarantee people would not die as a result of a no-deal Brexit,” the Times reports.
The worrying claims comes as fears over Britain’s post-Brexit medical supplies.
Last month, England’s most senior health official said he cannot be “confident” vital medicines will not be available after a no-deal Brexit.
Sir Chris Wormald, the department of health’s permanent secretary, told MPs ensuring supplies kept coming into the EU would be “very complex” if Britain leaves without a deal.
Antonio Tajani has said the EU will have the “last word” on Brexit agreement
12.03pm update: Tajani: EU will have “last word” on Brexit
Antonio Tajani is adamant the EU will have the “last word” on Brexit.
The European Parliament’s president, speaking alongside Guy Verhofstadt and Michel Barnier, said the bloc will decide on the agreement at the start of 2019.
Mr Tajani said: “We will have the last word on the agreement. We will vote early next year.
“Guy will accompany me Sunday 25 to the European Council to present the position to the EU member states.”
Following his statement this morning, Mr Barnier described the Brexit negotiations as “extraordinary”.
The deal “builds the foundation of the confidence we need to build the future relationship”, he said.
Guy Verhofstadt backs the draft Brexit agreement
11.45am update: Guy Verhofstadt – I hope UK comes back to EU
Guy Verhofstadt has spoken of his “regret” over Brexit, as he backed the draft agreement Mrs May has thrashed out with the EU.
The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, speaking alongside EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, described Brexit as a “wound”, but hoped that Britain would return to the EU in the future.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “We still really regret Brexit. The fact that an important big nation as the Uk is leaving the EU is still a wound.
“A wound today and I still hope personally one day that the UK will come back into the European family.
“What we have tried to do is make the best of a very difficult situation.
“I think that what is delivered today is the best agreement we could attain. But we have strongly supported the integrity of the European project of the European union of the single market.
“This agreement combines a Brexit with a scenario that avoids disruption, distaster for the EU eomomy and certainly the UK economy.
“It minimises disruption on both sides. It will avoid a hard border. We could not accept a situation in which there was a fear of return to violence in Northern Ireland.
“The third is our top priority the safeguard of citizens’ rights. Finally, this gives a good basis for the future relationship.”
Theresa May defiant in House Of Commons statement on Brexit draft deal
11.28am update: May “respects” Raab and McVey’s resignations
Theresa May paid tribute to Esther McVey and Dominic Raab after they resigned on Thursday.
The two Cabinet big hitters quit, with rumours that more ministers could join them in walking out on.
Mrs May said: ”Delivering Brexit involves difficult choices for all of us.
“We do not agree on all those choices, but I respect their views.”
Addressing critics of the draft deal’s inclusion of a backstop, The Prime Minister said the EU would not accept an agreement that did not have a backstop to avoid a hard Irish border.
11.15am update: Jeremy Corbyn says government in “CHAOS”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has piled into Theresa May following her House Of Commons’ statement.
Mr Corbyn claimed the government was in “chaos” and accused Mrs May of striking a “huge and damaging failure” of a deal for Britain.
The draft Brexit deal is “half baked”, with the government unprepared for a no-deal Brexit, he told the Commons.
Mr Corbyn said: “The government is in chaos … it must now withdraw this half-baked deal that does not have the backing of the Cabinet, Parliament or the country.
“When even the last Brexit Secretary, who theoretically at least negotiated the deal, says ‘I cannot support the proposed deal’, what faith does that give anyone else in this place or in this country?
“The Government simply cannot put to Parliament this half-baked deal that both the Brexit Secretary and his predecessor have rejected.
“No-deal is not a real option and the Government has not seriously prepared for it.”
11.08am update: Mrs May says rebel MPs RISK no-deal Brexit
Mrs May has come out fighting this morning, backing controversial parts of the draft Brexit deal despite a wave of resignations that have hit her hard.
It would be “highly irresponsible” to tear up the backstop plan to prevent a hard Irish border, she said.
The plan to keep Britain tied to EU customs rules as part of a backstop has been cited by Dominic Raab in his resignation letter.
She added: ”The Brexit talks are about acting in the national interest and that means making what I believe are the right choices, not the easy choices.
“Once the final deal is agreed I will bring it to Parliament and ask MPs to consider the national interest and back it.”
She added: “We can choose to leave with no deal, we can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated.”
10.52am update: Theresa May addresses House of Commons
Mrs May has defended her Brexit draft deal in a House of Common statement.
The Prime Minister said the deal brought Britan close to finalising an “ambitious partnership” with the EU.
Britain’s future relations with the EU offered a “breadth and depth of co-operation beyond anything the EU has agreed with any other country”.
Mrs May said: “This puts us close to a Brexit deal.
“What we agreed yesterday was not a final deal. It is a draft treaty that means we will leave the EU in an orderly way…and sets the framework for a future arrangement.
“It protects job security and the integrity of the UK.”
She added: “I do not pretend that this has been a comfortable process, or that either we or the EU are entirely happy with some of the arrangements which have been included in it.
“But of course this is the case. This is an arrangement that we have both said we never want to have to use.
“But while some people might pretend otherwise, there is no deal which delivers the the British people voted for which does not involve this insurance policy – not Canada-plus-plus-plus, not Norway-for-now, not our own White Paper.
“The EU will not negotiate any future partnership without it.”
Anne- Marie Trevelyan resigns as Education Minister
10.30am update: MORE resignations pummel May
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Education Minister, joins the procession of resignations.
She has submitted her letter to Theresa May, over fears the UK is “trying to appease” the EU.
The MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed claimed the “indefinite backstop” to avoid a hard Irish border – which would keep the UK within EU customs rules – was “unacceptable”.
Mrs Trevelyan wrote: “I believe we must protect the Brexit mandate by trying to secure a deal which understands the spirit of the referendum”.
Esther McVey posts resignation shortly after Mr Raab as pressure grows on PM
10.08am update: Esther McVey RESIGNS as Work and Pensions Secretary
They are coming thick and fast now. Esther McVey is next out of the Cabinet door marked “Brexit” as she hands in her notice.
Work and Pensions Secretary Ms McVey posted her resignation letter on Twitter.
Two Cabinet resignations already this morning. Mrs May won’t need to put out as many wine glasses at the next top-table meeting.
Ms McVey’s letter reads: “There is no more important task for this Government than delivering on the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.
“This is a matter of trust. It is about the future of our country and the integrity of our democracy.
“The deal you put before the Cabinet yesterday does not honour the result of the referendum. Indeed it doesn’t meet the tests you set from the outset of your premiership.
“Repeatedly you have said that we must regain control of our money, our borders and our laws and develop our own independent trade policy.
“I have always supported you to deliver on those objectives. Even after Chequers when you knew I shared the concerns of a very significant number of colleagues, I believed that we could still work collectively to honour the will of the British people and secure the right outcome for the future of our country.
“This deal fails to do this.
“The proposals put before Cabinet, which will soon be judged by the entire country, means handing over around £29bn to the EU without anything in return.
“It will trap us in a customs union, despite you specifically promising the British people we would not be.
“It will bind the hands of not only this, but future Governments in pursuing genuine free trade policies. We wouldn’t be taking back control, we would be handing over control to the EU and even to a third country for arbitration.
“It also threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom which as a Unionist is a risk I cannot be party to.
“The British people have always been ahead of politicians on the issue, and it will be no good trying to pretend to them that this deal honours the result of the referendum when it is obvious to everyone it doesn’t.
“We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal.
“I cannot defend this, and I cannot vote for this deal. I could not look my constituents in the eye were I to do that. I therefore have no alternative but to resign from the Government.”
9.59am update: More resignations rock Downing Street
Mrs May’s Thursday morning just got worse. Number 10 adviser Nikki Da Costa has resigned.
Ms Da Costa was charged with helping to get the Brexit deal through parliament.
It is yet another hammer blow to the Prime Minister, who is being assailed from all sides.
Rumours circulating that another junior minister is poised to table their resignation.
Michael Gove cancels trip to conference as rumours swirl of more resignations
9.48am update: Michael Gove cancels trip to Yorkshire – will he quit, too?
Michael Gove has axed a trip to a farming conference in Yorkshire as rumours circulate he could also resign from Cabinet.
According to The Times’s Sam Coates, Mr Gove is being urged to quit as Environment Secretary by friends, although he is said to have cancelled today’s visits for personal reasons.
Mr Gove backed Theresa May after her Chequers’ Brexit proposal was announced in July.
And he is reported to have been one of Mrs May’s most supportive Brexiteers in Wednesday night’s five-hour Cabinet summit, fearing a no-deal Brexit.
But will Mr Gove now walk the plank, too?
Iain Duncan Smith says colleagues could mount leadership challenge to Mrs May
9.33am update: Iain Duncan Smith: Raab resignation “DEVASATING”
Ex-Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith branded Mr Raab’s decision to resign “devastating”.
Mr Duncan Smith revealed he doesn’t back a leadership challenge to Mrs May – but knows other high-ranking Tories do not support the Prime Minister.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Duncan Smith said: “Many other colleagues, as I understand it, have decided that may be no longer viable.”
Mr Raab’s letter indicates his concerns over the Brexit draft deal have been ignored, Mr Duncan Smith added.
Dominic Raab resigns to ramp up pressure on Theresa May
9.15am update: Dominic Raab RESIGNS over Brexit fears
Dominic Raab’s incendiary resignation is an extraordinary twist in the unfolding Brexit drama.
The (Ex) Brexit Secretary announced his departure in a letter posted on Twitter on Thursday morning.
He cited concerns over an “indefinite” backstop agreement to avoid a hard Irish border and Nothern Ireland remaining under EU regulations.
Mr Raab’s letter reads: “It has been an honour to serve in your government as Justice Minister, Housing Minister and Brexit Secretary.
“I regret to say that following the Cabinet meeting yesterday on the Brexit deal I must resign.
“I understand why you have chosen to pursue the deal with the EU on the terms proposed, and I respect the different views held in good faith by all of our colleagues.
“For my part I cannot support the proposed deal for two reasons. First I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.
“Second I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit. The terms of the backstop amount to a hybrid of the EU Customs Union and Single Market obligations.
“No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangement.
“That arrangement is now also taken at the starting point for negotiating the future economic partnership. If we accept that, it will severely prejudice the second phase of negotiations against the UK.
“Above all, I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election. This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust.
“I appreciate that you disagree with my judgement on these issues. I have weighed very carefully the alternative courses of action which the government could take, on which I have previously advised. Ultimately you deserve a Brexit Secretary who can make the case for the deal you are pursuing with conviction. I am only sorry, in good conscience, that I cannot.
“My respect for you, and the fortitude you have shown in difficult times, remains undimmed.”
Will more big names follow him out of the Cabinet door?
Anne Marie Morris believes 48 MPs have sent resignation letters to 1922 Committee
8.48am update: May on the BRINK as 48 MPs ‘send no-confidence letters’?
There are claims that 48 MPs have submitted letters to Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee.
The number would be enough to trigger a vote of no confidence in Mrs May’s leadership.
Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight last night, Conservative MP and member of the European Research Group (ERG) Anne Marie Morris claimed “we do have the 48.”
Ms Morris has already submitted her letter, but said a leadership contest now depends on whether the MPs who have handed letters to Mr Brady give him the the go-ahead to trigger a no-confidence vote.
When pressed if the she believed Mr Brady had at least 48 letters she said: “Subject to individual members saying they can be released, yes I do.”
Theresa May emerged from last night’s five-hour Cabinet No10 talks to announce deal agreed
8.33am update: May faces PLOT from 40 Tory rebels to topple her
Mrs May is facing a mutiny from up to 40 Tory MPs who want to bring her down, it is reported.
The beleaguered Prime Minister faced down Cabinet dissenters on Wednesday, but is braced for a fresh wave of rebellion this week.
The Daily Mirror claims as many as 40 Tory MPs have sharpened their knives for their leader.
If 15 per cent of the Conservative Party’s Commons MPs – 48 altogether – submit letters to Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee, a vote of confidence will be called on Mrs May’s leadership.
Donald Tusk calls extraordinary EU summit for November 25 to rubber stamp draft deal
8.20am update: Donald Tusk announces emergency meeting date
An extraordinary EU summit to finalise the Brexit deal has been confirmed for November 25.
The meeting will be held from 9.30am and will finalise and formalise the Brexit agreement, Mr Tusk said.
The European Council president made the announcement on Thursday ahead of a meeting of EU ambassadors to rubber-stamp this week’s draft document.
Theresa May and Michel Barnier hammered out the deal after months of political wrangling.
8.00am update: NI minister RESIGNS over Brexit fears – backlash begins
Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara has resigned over Brexit.
The MP announced his resignation “with much sadness”.
He becomes the first departure following last night’s stormy Cabinet meeting to thrash out agreement on the draft Brexit deal.
Mr Vara said: “It has been a joy and privilege to serve in the Northern Ireland Office and I will always cherish the fondest memories”.
Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara resigns after draft Brexit document publishesd
7.50am update: Tusk addresses ‘British friends’ in Brussels speech
Speaking this morning Mr Tusk also said: “Let me say this to my British friends: as much as i am sad to see you leave I will do everything to make this farewell the least painful possible for both you and us.”
Mr Tusk added: “Of course, I do not share the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm about Brexit as such.
“Since the very beginning, we have had no doubt that Brexit is a lose-lose situation and our negotiations are only about damage control.”