Sunday, 15 July, 2018

Justice minister resigns from government to vote against Theresa May on Brexit

Patty Aguilar | 12 June, 2018, 14:42

In a full statement later posted on his website, Lee said his resignation was a protest against the government's attempts to limit the role of MPs in shaping what sort of Brexit Britain will have.

In a tweet this morning, he said, "I am incredibly sad to have had to announce my resignation as a minister in Her Majesty's Government so that I can better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is now being delivered".

The bill underpins the government's Brexit strategy.

The Prime Minister was forced to mollify different parts of her party - including those arch Brexiteers who would rather the United Kingdom crashed out of the European Union with no deal than the government agree to a soft Brexit, as well as rebellious Conservative MPs who want the public to have another vote on what Brexit will look like.

The government says that would undermine its negotiating position in talks to leave the bloc and Brexit minister David Davis warned lawmakers the government would never allow them to reverse Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May could face a possible backbench revolt and she has urged potential Conservative rebels to support the government.

"This isn't about narrow party politics", she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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"But the message we send to the country through our votes this week is important".

"We are asking members of parliament to abide by the referendum result, our manifesto commitment and to back our country", Andrew Bridgen, Conservative lawmaker and Brexit campaigner, told Reuters.

Starmer's call comes as lawmakers are bracing for a fierce parliamentary debate over Britain's European Union divorce bill.

Lee, who was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, has quit the front bench so he can vote against the government on the "meaningful vote" amendment.

If May is defeated in the House of Commons it will be yet another blow to a prime minister whose authority has been challenged several times since last year's election.

It is expected that Tuesday will see MPs decide whether Parliament should have the power to set the Government's negotiating goals if Theresa May's deal with Brussels is voted down.

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