David Davis named UK Brexit Secretary in Theresa May cabinet

July 14, 2016 6:23 am

Newly appointed Secretary of
State for Exiting the European Union David Davis leaves 10 Downing
Street in central London on July 13, 2016. ©AFP

Britain’s new Prime Minister
has appointed former special forces soldier and
minister David Davis to the new cabinet position of  Secretary of State
for Leaving the European Union or Secretary.

The
veteran Eurosceptic MP was among the first appointments in May’s cabinet
unveiled right after she became the country’s Prime Minister on
Wednesday.
Davis, who was a “Leave” campaigner in the EU
referendum, is in charge of leading the negotiations on Britain’s exit
from the EU.
He served as a reservist in the Special Air Service
(SAS), which is the British army’s elite special force unit, before
joining in 1987.
He was Europe minister between 1994 and
1997 when the European issue tore apart the government of former Tory
Prime Minister John Major. He also served as shadow home secretary and
shadow deputy prime minister between 2003 and 2008.
In 2005, he
lost to David Cameron in the final round of the Tory leadership contest
and remained on the backbenches while Cameron led the party.
As
Cameron announced his resignation on June 24 after the Brexit vote,
Davis said he would support major Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson in the
leadership race.
“The biggest issue over coming years will be
managing Brexit, improving trade position, controlling borders and
enhancing democracy,” he tweeted last month.
“That needs vision, optimism, energy and drive – that is why I am backing @BorisJohnson for Conservative leader,” he added.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. ©AFPBut after Johnson left the race he switched his support to May.
Not
much information has emerged about the new Brexit department, except
that May has ordered civil servants to find a building for the new
department.
May had a number of telephone conversations with
European leaders and pledged to establish “constructive relationships”
with them.
French President Francois Hollande discussed the
importance bilateral ties with May and urged her to begin the Brexit
negotiations as soon as possible.
May, however, responded that she
needed time before triggering Article 50 to establish a two-year
negotiation period before leaving the EU.
“On
all the phone calls, the prime minister emphasized her commitment to
delivering the will of the British people to leave the European Union,” May’s spokeswoman said.
“The
prime minister explained that we would need some time to prepare for
these negotiations and spoke of her hope that these could be conducted
in a constructive and positive spirit,” she added.
May, 59, has become Britain’s second ever female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.

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