Tory minister Philip Lee resigns ahead of Brexit vote

Leroy Wright
June 12, 2018

Lee's resignation Tuesday comes ahead of a crucial 48 hours for the government as it battles to hold off a series of potential rebellions to remove 15 amendments laid by peers in the House of Lords created to strengthen parliament's hand in the negotiations.

An amendment approved by the House of Lords, the upper house, could mean sending May back into negotiations with the European Union just months before Britain is due to leave if lawmakers reject a Brexit deal.

Passing the withdrawal bill would be a "turning point" in the Brexit process, he told the BBC's Sunday Politics, as it would be the basis for a "smooth transition" after the United Kingdom leaves.

Theresa May is to asks MPs to show unity this week as the Government's Brexit legislation returns to the Commons this week in a crucial vote.

Labour and Conservative MPs are bitterly split over Prime Minister Theresa May's desire to keep Britain in the European Economic Area.

Lee, who was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, has quit the front bench so he can vote against the government on the "meaningful vote" amendment.

Scotland stun top-ranked England at Edinburgh
We want to be fearless enough to walk through the door and win games". It would be nice to play a few more games like this.

"Whatever we do, we're not going to reverse that", Davis told BBC radio.

Depriving parliament of a vote on the withdrawal deal 'would be something we would rightly criticised if it happened elsewhere, ' Lee said.

On Tuesday, parliament will also debate other amendments, including a challenge to the government's plan to put March 29, 2019, or "Brexit Day", into law and an attempt to toughen a commitment to ensure a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the neighboring Irish Republic, which will remain in the EU.

"But the message we send to the country through our votes this week is important". She had nearly lost a general election she never needed to call, squandering her Conservative Party's overall majority and forcing her to rely on the support of the smaller Democratic Unionist Party.

A junior British justice minister said on Tuesday he will resign and will vote with pro-European Union rebels who want parliament to have the power to force the government to go back to the negotiating table if they reject a Brexit deal.

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