Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

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

Brexit news Theresa May Brexiteers no-confidence vote David Davis Labour GETTYBrexiteers could launch a coup against the Prime Minister once Brexit legislation has been secured
Kenny Thornton | 12 June, 2018, 14:44

Lee's resignation Tuesday comes ahead of a crucial 48 hours for the government as it battles to hold off a series of potential rebellions to remove 15 amendments laid by peers in the House of Lords created to strengthen parliament's hand in the negotiations.

In a statement, Lee said: "I will miss the Ministry of Justice and the enormous privilege of guiding our government's work to turn around the lives of vulnerable young offenders and female offenders; to mobilise the remarkable power of sport to transform lives and cut crime; and to improve how we deal with offenders" health and mental health which drives so much human behaviour.

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.

"But if the Lords amendments are allowed to stand, that negotiating position will be undermined".

Mrs May used the meeting to tell her MPs: "We must think about the message Parliament will send to the European Union this week".

May and her ministers renewed appeals for unity, after the government appeared to have secured a compromise to quell a potential rebellion on Wednesday over Britain's trading ties with the EU.

"Whatever we do, we're not going to reverse that", Davis told BBC radio.

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There are two amendments that could prove particularly tough for the government to overturn.

The Government is against the plan, believing it sends the wrong message to Brussels regarding the UK's negotiating goals.

May did not immediately address Lee's resignation.

MPs are preparing for a two-day debate on the legislation to leave the EU.

What is the EU Withdrawal Bill?

She now relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party.

The minister said the "badly rushed" Brexit legislation, and his belief that MPs needed to have a meaningful vote on the final deal agreed with Brussels, gave him no choice but to walk away from his post at the Home Office.

"There have been lots of meetings, we are keen to engage with all members of the parliamentary party", May's spokesman said.

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