| 6.5°C Belfast

Brexit: All the resignations since the Chequers plan was agreed

The Chequers Agreement and Withdrawal Agreement have not been universally popular.

Close

A number of MPs have left the Government during the Brexit negotiations (David Mirzoeff/PA)

A number of MPs have left the Government during the Brexit negotiations (David Mirzoeff/PA)

A number of MPs have left the Government during the Brexit negotiations (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Universities minister Sam Gyimah became the seventh minster to resign from the Government since Theresa May unveiled her Brexit blueprint a fortnight ago.

The East Surrey MP’s departure is a blow to Mrs May’s hopes of getting the deal through the House of Commons.

It follows the resignation of Brexit minister Dominic Raab earlier this month, after his predecessor David Davis left to rally against the Chequers agreement.

Here, the Press Association runs through the resignations since the Chequers meeting:

– David Davis, Brexit secretary

Close

David Davis and Boris Johnson both left Cabinet roles (PA)

David Davis and Boris Johnson both left Cabinet roles (PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

David Davis and Boris Johnson both left Cabinet roles (PA)

Mr Davis left his role on July 8, two days after the Chequers plan was agreed. In his resignation letter, he said the role should be filled by someone who was an “enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript”.

Key quote: “The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.”

– Steve Baker, Brexit minister

Mr Baker followed Mr Davis a day later in resigning over Government strategy on Brexit.

Key quote: “I cannot support this policy with the sincerity and resolve which will be necessary.”

– Boris Johnson, foreign secretary

Mr Johnson became the third departure in two days, saying the Chequers agreement was leaving the UK was heading towards “the status of colony” and the Brexit dream “was dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt”.

Key quote: “As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat.”

– Chris Green, parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the transport secretary

Mr Green also left following the Chequers deal on July 8, saying he feared Mrs May’s proposals would mean “we would not really leave the EU”.

Key quote: “I recognise that delivering Brexit is challenging, however I had hoped at tonight’s meeting that there would be some certainty that my fears were unfounded but, instead, they have been confirmed.”

– Conor Burns, PPS to the foreign secretary

Mr Burns followed Mr Johnson out the door on July 9, saying he wanted “to see the referendum result respected”.

Key quote: “I’ve decided it’s time to have greater freedom.”

– Robert Courts, PPS to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

David Cameron’s replacement in the Witney constituency left his role on July 15 over Chequers, saying that he could not tell people in his constituency that he supported the proposals in their current form.

Key quote: “I had to think who I wanted to see in the mirror for the rest of my life.”

– Ben Bradley, Conservative party vice-chairman

The Mansfield MP also left over Chequers on July 10, saying he owed it to his constituents to “raise concerns and speak freely” over the policy.

Close

Conservative vice-chairs Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield left their roles (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Conservative vice-chairs Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield left their roles (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Conservative vice-chairs Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield left their roles (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Key quote: “If we do not deliver Brexit in spirit as well as in name, then we are handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10.”

– Maria Caulfield, Conservative party vice-chairman

Mrs Caulfield also left on July 10, saying Chequers “will be bad for our country and bad for the party”.

Key quote: “I cannot support the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations which, in my view, do not fully embrace the opportunities that Brexit can provide.”

– Scott Mann, PPS to the Treasury

Mr Mann, MP for North Cornwall, left his role on July 16 as he felt aspects of the Brexit white paper would put him in “direct conflict” with views of his constituents.

Key quote: “I am not prepared to compromise their wishes to deliver a watered-down Brexit.”

– Guto Bebb, defence minister

Mr Bebb voted against the Government on changes to customs legislation relating to Brexit, effectively quitting his frontbench role on July 16.

Key quote: “I felt duty bound to try and vote to highlight the fact that the Conservative Party should be led by the prime minister not by the leadership of the ERG (European Research Group) group.”

– Jo Johnson, transport minister

The brother of Boris became the second Johnson to leave when he resigned on November 9 to vote against the Brexit deal, saying the choice being offered to the British people was “no choice at all”.

Key quote: “To present the nation with a choice between two deeply unattractive outcomes, vassalage and chaos, is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis.”

– Dominic Raab, Brexit secretary

Mr Raab left his role on November 15 following the publication of the draft Withdrawal Agreement citing a number of concerns, saying the backstop arrangement to prevent a border with Northern Ireland was “a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom”.

Key quote: “Ultimately, you deserve a Brexit Secretary who can make the case for the deal you are pursuing with conviction. I am only sorry, in good conscience, that I cannot.”

Close

Dominic Raab’s resignation letter (@DominicRaab)

Dominic Raab’s resignation letter (@DominicRaab)

Dominic Raab’s resignation letter (@DominicRaab)

– Esther McVey, work and pensions secretary

Mrs McVey followed Mr Raab’s resignation, saying it was “obvious” Mrs May’s plans failed to “honour the result” of the referendum.

Key quote: “We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal. I cannot defend this, and I cannot vote for this deal.”

– Suella Braverman, Brexit minister

Ms Braverman left her role – which she called a “dream job” – over the Withdrawal Agreement, saying she had concerns about the backstop.

Key quote: “I have reached a point where I feel that these concessions do not respect the will of the people – the people who put us here and whom we humbly serve. We must not let them down.”

Shailesh Vara, Northern Ireland minister

Mr Vara said the result of the referendum was “decisive” and that the Government “must deliver”, and that he could not support the Withdrawal Agreement.

Key quote: “It leaves the UK in a half-way house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign nation.”

– Rehman Chishti, Conservative party vice-chairman

Mr Chishti cited the Withdrawal Agreement and a “lack of leadership” on the Asia Bibi case as reasons for leaving.

Key quote: “The UK in effect will be part of a system where it will be a rule taker without any say on the rules.”

– Ranil Jayawardena, PPS at Ministry of Justice

Mr Jayawardena said the draft Withdrawal Agreement would not allow the country to “take back control” of laws, adding: “I entered public service not to be defined by the European question, but to deliver for my constituents and for our country.”

Key quote: “I cannot agree, in the cold light of day, that the deal in front of us today is right for our country. It does not deliver a good and fair Brexit.”

– Anne-Marie Trevelyan, PPS to Department of Education

The Berwick-upon-Tweed MP said she had struggled “for months” to continue to support Mrs May on Brexit as she “battled through” negotiations but that she could not back the Withdrawal Agreement.

Key quote: “I believe we must protect the Brexit mandate by trying to secure a deal which understands the spirit of the referendum.”

– Sam Gyimah, universities minister

Mr Gyimah said he could not support Mrs May as he felt the deal would leave Britain “poorer, less secure and weaker in the pursuit of our national interests”, thus leaving his role on November 30.

Key quote: “It has become increasingly clear to me that the proposed deal is not in the British national interest, and that to vote for this deal is to set ourselves up for failure. We will be losing, not taking control of our national destiny.”

PA


Privacy