UKIP’s Batten Demands May Resign, Labels Her Leadership ‘a Disaster for the Country’

Brexit
AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

UKIP leader Gerard Batten has called on Theresa May to stand down as Prime Minister after she unveiled her proposed plan for a soft Brexit and following the resignation of her Brexit secretary David Davis.

Noting that Mrs May was a “steadfast Remainer in the [referendum] campaign”, Mr Batten wrote on Monday that “few of us on the Leave side had any faith in your commitment to deliver what was entrusted to you. Your ‘Chequers Agreement’ sadly proves that you have no intention of delivering a genuine exit from the European Union.”

“I call on you to resign as Prime Minister without further delay and allow a genuine Leaver to take control of the process,” the Brexit campaigner wrote. “Your leadership is a shambles, and worse a disaster for the country and its future.”

May has faced calls for a vote of no confidence from within her own Conservative Party and ministerial resignations after she had pressed her Cabinet to accept her proposal for a soft, sub-‘Norway Style’ Brexit over the weekend at Chequers.

The White Paper would see the UK effectively remain inside the EU’s Single Market for industrial goods and agricultural products by signing up to a free trade area regulated by a so-called “common rulebook” dictated by the European Court of Justice as well as agreeing to retain the EU’s its employment, environment, consumer protection, and social regulations.

Speaking to Sky News’s Adam Boulton on Monday afternoon, the UKIP leader said: “The whole thing is a shambles, she isn’t delivering the Brexit that people voted for two years ago, she doesn’t want to do it. We need a genuine Leaver. She should stand down.”

“What this is is an absolute fudge where you leave in name but not in reality,” Mr Batten added.

“After two years of all these missed opportunities where we could have offered the EU a tariff-free deal, the easiest route now is just leave [without a deal] and go on WTO [World Trade Organization] terms.”

Asked whether he thought foreign secretary Boris Johnson or environment secretary Michael Gove — major figures in the establishment leave campaign Vote Leave — could be potential replacements for May, Mr Batten said: I don’t trust Johnson or Gove. They’ve capitulated on this over the weekend. At least Mr Davis has got some principles and resigned.”

“It takes someone of character to lead,” he added.

Mr Davis — who collaborated with Leave.EU-backed Grassroots Out campaign as well as Vote Leave — resigned on Sunday night. He is believed to have said that he stepped down because he “couldn’t sell out his own country”, writing in his resignation letter that May’s plan “hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense”.

The MP for Haltemprice and Howden, who hails from a working-class background, was replaced by Brexiteer and MP for Esher and Walton Dominic Raab on Monday.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.