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Who could replace David Davis as Brexit secretary?

Share Catherine Neilan Monday 9 July 2018 4:18 pm whatsapp Lidington is a close ally of May and likely to genuinely back her new soft Brexit position. However, he backed Remain during the referendum, making it likely that his appointment would generate a lot of heat from Eurosceptic backbenchers.Liam FoxThe international trade secretary has not blotted his copy book – although he was among the would-be rebels who had to be talked down during an 11th hour meeting with the Prime Minister ahead of Friday’s Chequers summit.He’s pro-Leave, so would get the nod from Eurosceptic backbenchers, but is not seen as one of the strongest members of May’s Cabinet.Robin WalkerAs the only MP left in the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) Walker could be a potential replacement, although it would be a big step up. As a junior minister he would be easier to replace and avoid the need for a mini-reshuffle.However, as a Remain campaigner his appointment may face some of the challenges that Lidington’s might bring.Other junior ministers He also frantically called and then met with a number of colleagues ahead of the Chequers away-day, it might be hard for Johnson to enthusiastically push for a deal on that basis.However, he has signed up to them and is committed to ministerial collective responsibility, so is already more involved Davis – assuming, of course, that he doesn’t follow suit and tender his resignation.However, Johnson is not viewed as a safe pair of hands, liable to shoot his mouth off and cross lines that could make these sensitive negotiations even more difficult.David LidingtonMay’s de facto deputy, conversely, is seen as a diplomatic veteran and has a lot of experience in dealing with the EU, having served as David Cameron’s Europe minister during the run-up to the referendum – which includes the renegotiation/reform efforts which arguably led to the Brexit vote.The Cabinet Office has been overseeing much of the intra-departmental work on Brexit, which means he has a good handle on progress – or lack thereof. And, given Davis is the sixth Cabinet minister to resign in eight months, the options are limited.Here are the likely candidates.Michael GoveThe environment secretary was one of the most vocal supporters of leaving the EU, alongside foreign secretary Boris Johnson. But since the 2016 vote he has become more pragmatic, and was one of the few Cabinet Leavers not said to be angered by last week’s proposals. He also has his eyes on the bigger prize of leadership, which this role – if carried out successfully – could as a springboard towards.But he has angered some and lost the trust of others, not least when he appeared to stab Johnson in the back during 2016’s leadership contest, ending that opportunity for both of them.Boris JohnsonHaving been so angry at the PM’s proposals that he is said to have described the process as “polishing a turd”. Who could replace David Davis as Brexit secretary? The Prime Minister will this morning have to decide who to replace David Davis as Brexit secretary after he resigned late last night.It is not a simple move, as Theresa May’s Cabinet is finely balanced between Remainers and Leavers. Davis had voted Leave in the referendum, but whoever she now picks must get behind the position that caused him to leave after many months of threatening to. Housing minister Dominic Raab is one of the front-runners for a promotion – but as an ardent Leaver he is unlikely to want to push for the plan that three of his allies have rejected.No oneThe irreplaceable Brexit secretary could well be irreplaceable.One suggestion doing the rounds is that DexEU is folded into the Cabinet Office, which would result in Lidington overseeing the process.However, this is not popular with pro-Leave backbenchers. 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