Thursday, 30 June 2022 – 18:07

Theresa May takes charge of Brexit talks

It has been a quiet, yet busy day for the Brexit negotiations as Theresa May shifts focus onto her as she takes personal charge of the talks. 

The Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab had been drafted in to replace David Davis, who quit in protest at the plans for post-Brexit trade. However, in an announcement made earlier today, written by Mrs May, responsibility for the talks has formally moved to her. 

The statement read: “I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the secretary of state for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf.”

Mr Raab will now officially deputise her. He has argued that this is not a sidelining, but instead that Mrs May was reorganising the ‘Whitehall deckchairs’ and has always been responsible. 

He acknowledged there had previously been “tensions” between his department and the Cabinet Office and the changes would ensure there was “one chain of command” to “get the best possible deal”. 

The chief of staff under David Davis, Stewart Jackson, has however claimed that Number 10 runs a ‘shadow, parallel operation’ in which ministers and officials are kept in the dark about proposals. 

For some, this will no doubt be evidence that Mrs May has taken back control of negotiations after what has been a tense and tough couple of weeks as she has scraped through vote after vote. 

However, others will be aware of Mrs May tendency to rely on close advisors, and her tightly controlled campaigns. They will point to Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, and the 2017 General Election, as evidence to why this is possibly a bad move. 

Arguably, whatever the outcome, in making this statement, Mrs May is taking full and complete responsibility and ownership of the negotiations and her strategy. If she succeeds in her aims, the reward will be hers to enjoy; if she fails, she alone could be responsible. 

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