Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Justice minister Phillip Lee resign over Brexit policy

Justice minister Phillip Lee resign over Brexit policy

The United Kingdom is now part of the European Union single market but if London leaves it after Brexit, Britain will have to negotiate new trade deals with its partners, including the United States.

In his speech, Lee slammed the government for fighting a crucial amendment, which will be voted Tuesday afternoon, created to give MPs the power to send the government back to Brussels to renegotiate the terms of Britain's departure should the House of Commons reject the final Brexit deal.

Justice Minister Philip Lee resigns and pledges to vote against Theresa May on Brexit.

Theresa May has begged Tory rebels not to undermine her Brexit negotiating position on the eve of key votes in the Commons.

The resignation comes as the Commons prepare to take part in crunch votes on the Brexit bill.

Brexit Minister Steve Baker said the Government would "look very carefully" at the amendment, which is being tabled by former Cabinet Ministers Oliver Letwin and Nicky Morgan.

The meaningful vote amendment is where the government is most likely to be defeated in votes on up 15 amendments taking place today and on Wednesday.

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Lee, the MP for Bracknell since 2010, confirmed on Twitter that he was quitting in order to back the meaningful vote amendment, and also said he would support a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

The Edinburgh South MP added that he was "confident we can smooth some of the particularly rough edges" of the Withdrawal Bill, and
said he believed there were enough Conservative rebels to keep the United Kingdom in the customs union.

His departure will increase the number of rebels planning to oppose the government on a key amendment to the bill later on Tuesday.

Ahead of the 1922 meeting, Conservative Remain campaigner Sarah Wollaston called for "further concessions" on the customs union.

The Brexit supporter told LBC radio on Monday that he would not expect people like pro-Remain MP Ken Clarke, who have "strong principles", to change their minds.

Senior backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said he expected there would be enough unity in Conservative ranks to see the Bill through.

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