United Kingdom justice minister resigns ahead of key Brexit debate

Getty Images

A junior minister in the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May resigned on Tuesday ahead of a crucial vote that could decide the future of Brexit-and perhaps the Prime Minister herself.

Earlier May suffered a setback when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

"It is a barely-disguised attempt to say to the 17.4 million, to those 66 percent of constituencies across the country that 'you were wrong, you little people didn't know what you were doing, and we know best'". It also increases the prospect of MPs forcing a referendum on the terms of the eventual deal or even of a snap election before the end of the year.

A section of Labour MPs are expected to defy the official party position and vote in favor of a Lords amendment to keep the United Kingdom in a Norway-style trading arrangement, better known as the European Economic Area (EEA), post-Brexit.

The battle now moves to the House of Lords, where the government will formally reveal how much it has conceded in the wording of a new amendment expected on Monday or Tuesday.

Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said that the only reason May's government had decided on a climb down was because 'they thought they were going to lose the vote'.

Yet this week's marathon Brexit debate have Labour members of Parliament concerned about their Brexit-voting electorates - and pro-European lawmakers frustrated by Corbyn's euroskeptic history - airing frustrations in full view.

It will be the first major test after the upper house, the House of Lords, introduced 15 major changes to her Brexit blueprint, the EU Withdrawal Bill, including that on the "meaningful vote".

Opening the debate, Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the government would abide by three principles to defend the will of the British people.

Pledging to support Mr Corbyn from the backbenches, she said on Twitter she could not vote for anything "that does not deliver the exit from the European Union that my constituents voted for".


"It's not practical, it's not desirable and it's not appropriate", he said.

Another flashpoint could come when lawmakers vote Wednesday on an amendment seeking to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU.

Britain's highest-selling tabloid, The Sun, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, addressed lawmakers directly on its front page, saying they faced a choice between "Great Britain or Great Betrayal". The Daily Express featured the British flag as its front page with the headline: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

A file photograph of justice minister Phillip Lees.

"I am confident I can get a deal that allows us to strike our own trade deals while having a border with the European Union which is as frictionless as possible", she said.

"If we don't achieve a deal at all, the fact is we are going to be facing an enormous crisis", he told MPs.

Meanwhile, the remain-supporting Conservatives are increasingly divided over whether to follow a similar path, although the threat of rebellion from a minority contingent of Brexit-supporting MPs within the party has so-far prevented government from making an overt commitment to a change of policy.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, and the bloc is frustrated with what it sees as a lack of firm proposals from the U.K about future relations.

A paper laying out the U.K. government position, due to be published this month, has been delayed because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance.

Related News:

  • Trump 'Felt Foolish' Engaging in Rhetoric With NKorea

    Trump 'Felt Foolish' Engaging in Rhetoric With NKorea

    The New York Daily News reports that Kim Jong-un seemed to like the video, stating that it seemed like a "science fiction movie". To reach a deal, it is the North Korean dictator - ironically, perhaps - who will have to be flexible.
    Traders see fourth Fed interest rate hike this year

    Traders see fourth Fed interest rate hike this year

    Fed officials project gross domestic product increasing 2.8 percent this year, up from an earlier projection of 2.7 percent. Policy makers kept their hiking path at three hikes for 2019 while trimming the 2020 outlook to one increase.
    Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music First Look

    Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music First Look

    Deezer is given as an example of one such service, but apparently support for this is coming soon rather than being available now. Still, if you're into athletic activities, it's hard to compete against this bad boy at $300.
  • World Cup teams could train on Vancouver Island

    Most national teams prefer to establish their pre-World Cup training compounds away from their first-round group-game cities. And there will be a maximum of seven games for the teams reaching the final, the same as the current format.
    Martian rover threatened by massive dust storm

    Martian rover threatened by massive dust storm

    That means Opportunity's solar panels aren't getting enough sunlight to phone home from its Perseverance Valley location on Mars. Opportunity was in remarkably good health going into the storm, Callas said, with only an arthritic joint in its robotic arm.
    North Korea Summit: Best Donald Trump & Kim Jong-un Memes

    North Korea Summit: Best Donald Trump & Kim Jong-un Memes

    However, there was no mention of the previous USA aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" from Pyongyang. On Wednesday morning, he took to Twitter to claim there was "no longer" a nuclear threat posed by the North Korean regime.
  • Why Meghan Markle Has to Stand Behind Kate

    Why Meghan Markle Has to Stand Behind Kate

    Speculation over who would design Markle's dress began as soon as the couple announced their engagement last November. She is now officially patron of the Royal Foundation, along with Prince Harry , Prince William and Kate Middleton .
    Epic Antarctic ice sheet melt speeding up sea level rise

    Epic Antarctic ice sheet melt speeding up sea level rise

    If all of the glaciers on the southern continent were to melt then sea level would rise by 58 meters (190 feet). If the rate does not increase, that would imply that sea level would rise by an average of 10 inches by 2100.
    FG declares Friday, Monday, public holidays for Eid -El Fitr

    FG declares Friday, Monday, public holidays for Eid -El Fitr

    The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet on Thursday evening in Karachi for Shawal moon sighting. These institutions will resume normal operations on Wednesday, June 20, sources said.
  • Couple taking selfie on cliff plunge to their deaths

    The captain of the port of Cascais, 30 kilometres west of Lisbon, said he believed the couple fell while trying to take a selfie. The couple's bodies were taken to a medical centre while authorities contacted the Australian and British embassies in Lisbon.
    Russian MP warns against sex with foreigners during World Cup

    Russian MP warns against sex with foreigners during World Cup

    Russian Federation expects to host about one million foreigners at the World Cup matches. I'm not a nationalist, but nonetheless.
    German prosecutor hits Volkswagen with €1B Dieselgate fine

    German prosecutor hits Volkswagen with €1B Dieselgate fine

    VW said it held a board meeting to discuss the crisis, with members of the supervisory board also being informed. VW said that it accepted the fine, and would not appeal.


Most liked

Net neutrality rules are dead, but fight lives on
But net neutrality remains alive and well in Washington, thanks to a bi-partisan bill that was signed into law earlier this year. And I think the internet service providers can do that, particularly in rural areas where you have only one carrier.

DC's Wonder Woman 2: Title Confirmed, Surprise Return Of Key Character Revealed
It's a movie that many DC Comics fans are looking forward to, especially after how badly Warner Bros. screwed up Justice League . Pine is seen in a shopping mall , sporting a different hairdo, standing in front of background that screams the '80s.

Trump's personal attorney splits with his own legal team
This development, which is believed to be imminent , will likely hit the White House, family members, staffers and counsels hard. Cohen wants to hire a lawyer with close ties to the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, the people said.

Cambridges slammed for allowing Prince George to play with toy gun
The incident brought back memories of the 2016 Trooping the Colour when William, 36, was scolded by Queen Elizabeth to stand up. The pushing incident came on the heels of Savannah publicly teasing George in a different way just one day earlier.

Canada will pay for words
Trudeau's office responded to Trump's tweet saying "We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the #G7 summit". The comments dashed hopes that Trump had moved on from what he believed to be was a "dishonest" action by Trudeau.

Tearful Dennis Rodman says he 'took bullets' for Kim friendship
Rodman - a close friend of the supreme leader of the North Korea - ended up weeping during a TV interview on CNN . The former National Basketball Association star first traveled February 2013 to North Korea for a documentary.

Tyson Fury wins comeback after opponent is retired
But I wouldn't change a thing. "I seem to have everyone behind me and I'm coming back and fighting for them". He received his boxing licence in January after accepting a backdated two-year doping ban.

Lopetegui sacked as Spain coach two days before World Cup debut
Comparing the Spanish turbulence with England's camp so far, Butland added: "I don't think we'll ever be in that situation". Jamie Vardy was equally taken aback by the news but still expects Spain to be one of the favourites in Russian Federation .

Proposal to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot
Congressional approval , however, is no easy ask. " California government has rotted", Draper told The Mercury News last month . Among other obstacles, a recent SurveyUSA poll found that only 17 percent of California voters support the " CAL3 " plan.

EU Rubbishes Labour's Brexit Vision, Calling it "Cakeism"
May objected to the amendment - inserted by the House of Lords - because she said it would tie her hands in the negotiation. That said, while the government may have won the battle on customs, the war is still to come.

Italy accepts 900 migrants but 600 more continue onto Spain
Salvini earlier underlined that Italy's ports would no longer be open to foreign boats carrying migrants. Catania was obliged to accept migrants rescued by the Italian Navy, as opposed to an NGO-operated ship.

Prince Harry and Meghan's first major royal tour confirmed
The work is a fee for the right of man to dwell on the earth. "There are no special classes, there are no special manuals". As a newly-appointed royal with the world watching her every move, you certainly can't blame Meghan for feeling nervous.

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup
The bid group has been working under the premise of three cities in each of Canada and Mexico and 10 in the United States. Despite this, Solkowski is hearing there's still a slight chance Vancouver could get back in the game, so to speak.

La Barbie sentenced to 49 years in prison
At the time, then-Mexican President Felipe Calderon called Villarreal 'one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and overseas '. Duffey wasn't swayed, telling Valdez that his actions were despicable and amounted to a betrayal of his family and his country.

Saudi-led coalition forces begin assault on Yemen aid port
The early stages of Wednesday's offensive followed statements from UAE and Saudi officials that military action was necessary. The United Nations and other aid groups had pulled their worldwide staff from Hodeida ahead of the rumored assault.