Tory minister criticised for "plain nasty" Brexit hanging comments

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2018

"I am trying to negotiate the best deal for Britain".

Mr Buckland, who was a Remain supporter, was standing alongside junior Brexit minister and Leaver Steve Baker when he made the comments.

It is thought a second ministerial resignation could follow.

Pro-Remain Tories are considering whether to vote in favour of peers' changes to the bill on their demands for the government to stay open to negotiating a customs union with the EU, and on a call for a beefed-up "meaningful vote" for parliament on the final Brexit deal.

Justice minister Phillip Lee has resigned over the government's handling of Brexit, dealing a significant blow to Theresa May before key Commons votes on the European Union withdrawal bill.

In a statement on his website, he wrote: "The main reason for my taking this decision now is the Brexit process and the government's wish to limit parliament's role in contributing to the final outcome in a vote that takes place today".

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May, who faces one of her most crucial weeks since becoming prime minister, will address the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee on Monday evening to tell her MPs that, even though the EU Withdrawal Bill is a largely technical matter, the way they vote will send out a highly important signal to the country.

MPs will also draw a line under the long-running row about devolved powers after Brexit when time finally runs out for Edinburgh and London to reach a deal before the bill is signed off.

Senior backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said he expected there would be enough unity in Conservative ranks to see the Bill through.

"They want us to deliver on Brexit and build a brighter future for Britain as we take back control of our money, our laws and our borders".

"The objective of the EU Withdrawal Bill is simple - it is putting EU legislation into law to ensure a smooth and orderly transition as we leave", she is expected to tell them.

However, they face a revolt by pro-EU Tory MPs determined to retain as numerous changes as possible in the legislation.

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