May’s Brexit Deal Splits Conservative Party

Ministers unhappy with the draft treaty to leave the EU have resigned.

British prime minister Theresa May attends a NATO summit in Brussels, July 11, 2018
British prime minister Theresa May attends a NATO summit in Brussels, July 11, 2018 (Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis)
  • Seven members of the British government, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, have resigned in protest to Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
  • They — and many Conservatives — object to a potentially indefinite “backstop” in the withdrawal agreement that would keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU in order to avoid closing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • The treaty is also opposed by many in the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish nationalists, who argue it gives Britain a worse deal than it has now.
  • Without their support, May could probably not get the agreement through Parliament, raising the specter of a “hard” Brexit in March 2019.