David Davis “doesn’t care” about Brexit and has “mentally checked out,” a Tory minister has said after he was forced to U-turn on stating that MPs might not vote on an exit deal until after the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union.
On Wednesday, the Brexit secretary was corrected by his own department after saying that a parliamentary vote on the deal might not happen until after Brexit day in March 2019. A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union said that they “expect and intend” the vote to happen before Brexit.
A Conservative minister informed The Telegraph that the u-turn was evidence that Davis “doesn’t care” and has “mentally checked out” amid rumours that he intends to leave his post as Brexit Secretary after March 2019.
Enraged pro-Remain MPs criticised Davis for suggesting that a vote might not happen until after Brexit, labelling it as “unacceptable.”
Chuka Umunna, a Labour MP, said that the comments of the Brexit secretary were “in clear breach” of what David Jones, the former Brexit minister, had informed MPs in February, that the parliament would hold a “meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal.
Anna Soubry, a Conservative MP, said that the suggestion of Davis that MPs would not get the chance to decide before Brexit was “absolutely, totally unacceptable”.
When Davis was asked by Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP, whether a parliamentary vote might have to be held after the “Brexit day” in 2019 at the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, he answered: “Yes, it could be. It can’t come before we have the deal.”
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, then appeared to oppose her minister at prime minister’s questions, saying that she was “confident” that MPs would get a vote before Britain withdrew from the European Union.
Downing Street asserted that May has “full confidence in David Davis and his team.” However, it did not deny that the prime minister had opposed the Brexit secretary.
Davis has been under pressure after the impediment of Brexit talks and the delay in going through parliament of the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Sky News reported on Wednesday that the Davis has failed to meet with senior MPs to pave the way for the withdrawal bill, which has almost 400 amendments added to it currently.