Resignation watch: Who has resigned over the Brexit deal?

Downing Street

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Following a five-hour meeting last night, Theresa May's cabinet backed her draft Brexit deal.

This morning a string of resignations have been handed in from Ministers, who disagreed with the draft treaty.

Here's your guide to who has resigned over the agreement.


Rehman Chishti

Vice chairman of the Conservative party, Rehman Chishti, has resigned over a "disappointing lack of leadership" and the government's handling of the Asia Bibi case, in which a Pakistani Christian woman was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death.

In his letter to the Prime Minister he said that he found it "shocking" that the British government had not put into practice the "core values" of "religious freedom", "justice" and "morally doing the right thing".

The MP Gillingham and Rainham will also leave his role as PM Trade Envoy to Pakistan.

He added that he saw Theresa May's Brexit deal as a "hybrid membership of the EU customs union".


Ranil Jayawardena

Ranil Jayawardena has resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, saying "in the cold light of day" he could not agree that Mrs May's deal was the right one. 

He added that the proposed agreement "does not deliver a good and a fair Brexit". 

The MP for North East Hampshire ended his letter saying he did not enter public service "to be defined by the European question". 


Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Anne-Marie Trevelyan has resigned as a Parliamentary private secretary in the Department for Education, saying she cannot support the Brexit deal after negotiations "built on the UK trying to appease the EU".

In her letter to the Prime Minister, she claimed the deal would result in the UK becoming "an independent coastal state in name only", and raised concerns about the impact for the fishing community.

Conservative MP Steve Baker congratulated Ms Trevelyan on her resignation, replying to her announcement on Twitter with the comment "well done".


Suella Braverman

In her letter of resignation, the junior Brexit Minister claimed the withdrawal agreement put forward by Theresa May was "not Brexit".

She said she had "compromised" throughout the Brexit negotiations, but had "reached a point" where she felt the deal did not "reflect the will of the people".

In a Tweet, she wrote: "It is with deep regret and after reflection that I have had to tender my resignation today as a Brexit Minister. Thank you for the opportunity.

"I look forward to working to support Brexit from the Backbenches. This has not been an easy decision."


Esther McVey

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has resigned, saying the Brexit deal "does not honour the result of the referendum".

The MP for Tatton becomes the third minister to resign from her position in the same morning as Dominic Raab and Shailesh Vara.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, McVey said she could "not look constituents in the eye" if she had voted for Ms May's Brexit Withdrawl deal. 


Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has resigned as Brexit secretary, claiming Theresa May's withdrawal agreement posed a "very real threat" to the integrity of the UK.

In his resignation letter, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton wrote that his respect for the Prime Minister remained "undimmed".

However, he claimed he could not support an "infinite backstop agreement", adding the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presented "a very real threat to the integrity of the UK".

Mr Raab held the role of Brexit secretary for 138 days.


Shailesh Vara

Conservative MP, Shailesh Vara, has quit as Northern Ireland Minister, saying he cannot support Theresa May's "halfway house" Brexit agreement.

In his letter of resignation, the MP for North West Cambridgeshire said the draft withdrawal agreement - which was backed by cabinet ministers following a five-hour meeting last night - did "not provide for the United Kingdom".

He added it was "sad" that the UK was "reduced to obeying other made by other countries" that did not have the UK's "best interests at heart".