Brine resigns from government over Brexit
Steve Brine, the minister with responsibility for pharmacy at the Department of Health and Social Care, resigned from the government last night and voted against it on Brexit as concerns the UK will leave the European Union without a deal intensify.
Brine (pictured) was among three MPs to quit along with the business minister Richard Harrington and foreign minister Alistair Burt, another former pharmacy minister, to support an amendment allowing indicative votes on Brexit.
The resignations came as MPs threw their support behind an amendment tabled by Sir Oliver Letwin to give MPs control of the parliamentary timetable and vote on alternative approaches to Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Brine told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a revocation of article 50 and a second Brexit referendum were “on the table.”
In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Brine said it was not possible to “wish away no deal, you can only do that by having a deal.”
“As you know, I have supported your draft withdrawal agreement twice and would do so again without hesitation,” he wrote.
“I think it represents the 2016 referendum result moving us from a constitutional to a Treaty arrangement and MPs of all parties (and none) should support it.
“Regrettably however, it looks like a tall order for it to pass the House of Commons, so we are left in the position where the House must find a common position that can.”
In his desire to avoid a no-deal Brexit, Brine said he was not prepared to vote against the Letwin amendment and suggested “the honourable thing was to leave the government…and vote accordingly.”
This image has been cropped. The licence can be found here.
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