Tory Justice Minister quits to vote against government
In a dramatic turn of events, the Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee has quit the government to vote in favour of a ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit.
At present, if parliament votes down the Government’s proposed Brexit deal, then the Government has made it clear that a ‘no deal’ brexit will occur, i.e. the UK will crash out of the EU and move on to WTO rules.
Lee’s resignation is a sign that pro-EU tories will back Labour in voting for a meaningful vote on the matter. This would effectively allow parliament to amend every step of the Brexit process - something the government fears due to the fact that most MPs are remainers, and widespread consensus on the Tory benches over individual issues in the negotiation is severely lacking.
In a statement on his website, the MP said:
“The main reason for my taking this decision now is the Brexit process and the Government’s wish to limit Parliament’s role in contributing to the final outcome in a vote that takes place today.
“If, in the future, I am to look my children in the eye and honestly say that I did my best for them I cannot, in all good conscience, support how our country’s exit from the EU looks set to be delivered.”
“As a Member of Parliament, I also have a major responsibility to my constituency of Bracknell. In extensive consultations with local employers, both large and small, I have been warned that they expect Brexit as it is currently being pursued, whatever the negotiated settlement, will damage their business. I have spoken to people, many of whom have lived, worked and raised their family here, whose fears for their futures I am not always able to allay. Regrettably, it seems inevitable that the people, economy and culture of my constituency will be affected negatively, and I cannot ignore that it is to them that I owe my first responsibility.”
“Sadly, from within government I have found it virtually impossible to help bring sufficient change to the course on which we are bound.”