Defra minister George Eustice resigns from government

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 28 February 2019 in News

Eustice said he feared the PM's decision to allow a vote on delaying article 50 “will lead to a sequence of events culminating in the EU dictating the terms of any extension requested and the final humiliation of our country”

Image credit: Commons

Defra minister George Eustice has resigned from government after Theresa May backed plans to allow MPs a vote on delaying Brexit if her deal is rejected.

Writing to the Prime Minister to inform her of his resignation, Eustice said he still backed her agreement but feared her decision to allow a vote on delaying article 50 “will lead to a sequence of events culminating in the EU dictating the terms of any extension requested and the final humiliation of our country”.

A long standing Eurosceptic, the MP for Camborne and Redruth in Cornwall had been responsible for food, farming and fisheries.

But with the PM backing plans to allow MPs to vote on whether to leave the EU without a deal or to delay Article 50 if the Commons rejects her EU withdrawal agreement, Eustice warned: "We cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door."

The Commons is expected to vote on the PM’s revised withdrawal agreement by 13 March.

He said: “I appreciate that you have been terribly undermined by those in parliament who refuse to respect the referendum result. You have shown tenacity and resilience over the past year. However, what our country needs from all its political leaders at this critical juncture is courage, and we are about to find out whether Parliament has it.”

Eustice added: “If the position of Parliament is now that we will refuse to leave without an agreement then we are somewhat stuck.

“This is uncomfortable for everyone, but we cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door. We must therefore have the courage, if necessary, to reclaim our freedom first and talk afterwards. We must be ready to face down the European Union here and now.”

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