LONDON — Justice minister Dr Phillip Lee has resigned from Theresa May’s government just hours before a series of crunch votes on amendments to the prime minister’s flagship Brexit legislation.
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.
He announced his decision on Twitter on Tuesday morning:
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 currently being delivered. Statement to follow shortly on my website.
— Dr Phillip Lee MP (@DrPhillipLeeMP) June 12, 2018
Earlier this year, Lee was disciplined by Conservative MPs for describing the government’s Brexit policy of being based on “dogma” in a thread of Tweets.
The next phase of Brexit has to be all about the evidence. We can’t just dismiss this and move on. If there is evidence to the contrary, we need to see and consider that too. https://t.co/A0MeP9BCJr. 1/3
— Dr Phillip Lee MP (@DrPhillipLeeMP) January 30, 2018
He was a passionate campaigner for Britain to remain the European Union and now is expected to use his freedom on the backbenches to vote against the government on the meaningful vote amendment.
The meaningful vote amendment — amendment 48,19 —is where the government is most likely to be defeated in votes on up 15 amendments taking place today and on Wednesday.
In practice, the amendment would give MPs and Lords the power to decide what happens should they decide to reject the Brexit deal May hopes to bring back from Brussels later this year. This means MPs and Lords could tell May to go back to negotiating table and get something better.
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Source:: Business Insider