Former Brexit secretary: Prime minister's deal takes away all economic benefits of EU divorce

  • The proposed deal for Brexit eliminates "all the possible economic benefits" of the separation, former Brexit Secretary David Davis tells CNBC.
  • He says there is "no way" Theresa May's plan to leave the EU will make it through Parliament.

The proposed deal for Britain to leave the European Union takes away "all the possible economic benefits of Brexit," former Brexit Secretary David Davis told CNBC on Friday.

Davis, who resigned from the job in July, has been a vocal opponent of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to separate the United Kingdom from the EU.

"The idea was that once we left the European Union, we could control our own laws and regulations and businesses. We could do deals with the United States," Davis said on "Closing Bell." "All of that would be off the table if we accept this deal. And, frankly, that's not tolerable."

Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, listens to a question from reporters as she delivers a statement on the Brexit agreement during a news conference inside number 10 Downing Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.
David Levenson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, listens to a question from reporters as she delivers a statement on the Brexit agreement during a news conference inside number 10 Downing Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.

May is facing opposition from across the political spectrum. Her draft deal was signed off on by negotiators from both the EU and the U.K. on Tuesday. It now needs the approval of senior lawmakers and then the entire U.K. Parliament before it can be finalized.

May's proposal led several ministers to resign, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. On Friday, May appointed Stephen Barclay, a junior health minister who voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, as her new Brexit secretary.

When asked if his opposition increases the possibility of a no-deal and a so-called hard Brexit, Davis said he didn't think that was necessarily the case.

"In any deal, you have to be able and willing to walk away if a deal is not good enough. To sort of give in to that fear is to say, 'Any deal will do, thank you very much,'" he said.

"It's worth taking a small risk, a small but manageable risk, of no deal," Davis added.

He said it is likely the deal will be rejected by the House of Commons, the lower house of the U.K. Parliament.

"There is no way I can see it going through," he said. "Therefore, she'll have to come up with another alternative."

— Reuters contributed to this report.