Please see my latest wire as Brexit diarist for The New York Sun, ‘Britons Await the Promise of Brexit’:
Prime Minister Theresa May’s loss of another Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, invites a paraphrase of Oscar Wilde, “to lose one Brexit minister, Prime Minister, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness.”
Carelessness does not even begin to encompass Mrs. May’s ineptness since the June 2016 referendum vote in favor of exiting the European Union and striking out once more as a sovereign country in command of its laws, borders, public purse, and trade policies.
Mr. Raab’s reasons for his departure — he could not ‘in good conscience” support Mrs. May’s draft withdrawal agreement from the European Union — echo the Brexiteer consensus: Dissatisfaction with the proposed resolution of the so-called “Irish backstop.”
Government attempts to address the Irish question, allowing Brussels to maintain the integrity of its single market and customs union, have resulted in proposals that leave parts of the UK — that is, Northern Ireland — under EU jurisdiction.
Adding insult to injury, the draft framework forbids the UK from unilaterally curtailing the backstop, while giving significant authority to the EU and the Irish government. In his resignation letter, Mr. Raab said the draft “presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.”
Mr. Rabb said he could not support “an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit.” That echoes in spirit Boris Johnson’s complaint that it would reduce Great Britain to a “vassal state.”
Remarks are welcome on DMI’s Facebook page.
My thanks to editor Seth Lipsky of The New York Sun.