Former Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan has written in his memoirs of UK Foreign Secretary Mr Raab’s failure in negotiations with his EU counterparts, when Mr Raab was the UK’s Brexit Secretary. He described the bleak state of negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU in the autumn of 2018 as “the whole ship taking in water”. In his diary page titled, “Monday, October 15” Sir Alan said: “Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has got nowhere on Brexit and returned to London.
“David Davis was swaggering around.
“Other, useless, Cabinet ministers murmuring about resigning; the whole ship taking in water.”
In early November 2018, Mr Raab, when acting as the UK’s Brexit Secretary, cast doubt over his ability in the role when he admitted he “hadn’t quite understood” the importance of the Dover-Calais crossing to UK trade.
More than half of all UK exports each year are EU-bound and the vast majority pass through the Dover-Calais trade corridor.
The crossing facilitates approximately 2.6 million lorries per year, transporting billions of pounds in goods.
After his lack of understanding was leaked he referred to it at a Brexit conference in late 2018.
He said: “I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.”
Mr Raab was sent over to Brussels to try and break the deadlock over complications surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol and UK fisheries.
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“I think the answer is, can the EU accept that point of principle that comes with us leaving the political club?”
Mr Raab resigned from Theresa May’s Government as Brexit Secretary in November 2018 over the then-prime minister’s deal with Brussels.
This diary entry was extracted from “In The Thick Of It: The Explosive Private Political Diaries Of A Former Tory Minister”, by Alan Duncan.
It is to be published by William Collins on April 15, 2021.