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Brexit: Dominic Raab accuses Theresa May of giving in to EU 'blackmail' after quitting over deal

The Independent logo The Independent 15/11/2018
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Video: Raab - UK need to go back to Brussels with a best and final offer (Sky)

Dominic Raab accused the EU of “blackmail” as a fellow cabinet minister condemned his resignation as a selfish bid to grab Theresa May’s job.

Open warfare broke out at the top of the Conservative party, with the outgoing Brexit secretary branded a “carpetbagger” by David Mundell, the Scottish secretary.

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Corbyn: Deal leaves UK in halfway house (Daily Mail)

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Mr Raab, meanwhile, stepped up his broadside at the prime minister’s draft deal, accusing her of giving in to “blackmail” by Brussels.

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He said the deal was doomed to defeat in the House of Commons unless she changed course, describing it as having “two major and fatal flaws”.

“The first is that the terms being offered by the EU threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom and the second is that they would lead to an indefinite if not permanent situation where we're locked into a regime with no say over the rules being applied, with no exit mechanism,” he told the BBC.

Dominic Raab © AP Dominic Raab

“I think that would be damaging for the economy but devastating for public trust in our democracy.” He said he held the prime minister in “high esteem” and “should continue”, but warned: “I do think we need to change course on Brexit.”

He argued the government must risk a no-deal Brexit in the face of the EU's “blackmail” and did not rule out putting himself forward for leader if the government continued to fall apart.

The resignation of Mr Raab – an arch-Brexiteer, promoted to replace David Davis when he quit in protest at Mrs May's Brexit plans – was a devastating blow to the prime minister.

It drew an extraordinary attack from Mr Mundell, who announced he was staying in the cabinet – despite his own threat to rebel over fishing rights.

He accused Mr Raab of developing a “latter-day commitment to the Union”, claiming his resignation was really “about manoeuvring and leadership”.

“I'm not taking lessons in standing up for our United Kingdom from carpetbaggers,” Mr Mundell told ITV Borders.

“Only a couple of years ago Dominic Raab was proposing to introduce a bill of rights into Scotland which would have overridden the Scottish legal system and devolution.

“So I'm not impressed by his latter-day commitment to the Union. I'm sure this is more about manoeuvring and leadership.”

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