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Anne-Marie Trevelyan Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan resigns from her post as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department of Education

Dear Prime Minister,

It is with a profoundly heavy heart that I tender my resignation as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department of Education, as I cannot support the Withdrawal Agreement which you have agreed with the EU.

It has been an honour to serve in your Government both in education and previously as PPS in the Ministry of Defence. I will continue to speak up on all those matters close to my heart around the armed forces covenant and special educational needs, to try to move policy decisions forwards in the future.

I have struggled for months to continue to give you my support on Brexit, as you battled through the most difficult of public negotiations to find a new relationship with the EU after we have left next year. Despite my own convictions on Brexit, I have always been a pragmatist and understood there would likely be areas of mutually agreed future partnership which I would not be wholly supportive of, but could live with and justify to my constituents.

Sadly, the deal which you and your Cabinet have approved is not one which I can support. It is now clear to me that the negotiations have been built on the UK trying to appease the EU and we have allowed ourselves to be led into a deal which is unacceptable to the 17.4 million voters who asked for us to step away from the EU project and become an independent nation once again.

As an MP with a historic and active fishing community, the policy framework proposed in the draft agreement published last night would prevent the UK from independently negotiating access quota shares, and would mean that the UK would become an independent coastal state in name only.

As an MP bordering Scotland, the regulatory framework agreement for Northern Ireland is very important to me, and I cannot support the position the EU agreement takes. I believe that it poses a real threat to the stability and integrity of the Union. The indefinite backstop arrangement agreed is also unacceptable, since it leaves the UK permanently trapped in a customs union, which will restrict forever our trade prospects. I cannot agree to a deal in which my country will have its unique innovative spirit crushed by removing the great opportunity of competitive advantage for the decades ahead.

Some would say well just agree the treaty as it is now then bin it later. But I don’t believe in that way of doing business – if we sign a treaty I want us to stand by it. I believe we must protect the Brexit mandate by trying to secure a deal which understands the spirit of the referendum, or we must have the leadership courage to deliver a WTO deal and work on a trade agreement later.

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve my country in your Government.

Yours Sincerely,

Esther McVey Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Esther McVey resigns from her post as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Dear Prime Minister,

There is no more important task for this Government than delivering on the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. This is a matter of trust. It is about the future of our country and the integrity of our democracy.

The deal you put before the Cabinet yesterday does not honour the result of the referendum. Indeed, it doesn’t meet the tests you set from the outset of your premiership.

Repeatedly you have said that we must regain control of our money, our orders and our laws and develop our own independent trade policy. I have always supported you to deliver on those objectives. Even after Chequers when you knew I shared the concerns of a very significant number of colleagues, I believed that we could still work collectively to honour the will of the British people and secure the right outcome for the future of our country. This deal fails to do this.

The proposals put before cabinet, which will soon be judged by the entire country, mean handing over around £39bn to the EU without anything in return. It will trap us in a customs union, despite you specifically promising the British people we would not be. It will bind the hands of not only this, but future governments in pursuing genuine free trade policies. We wouldn’t be taking back control, we would be handing over control to the EU and even to a third country for arbitration.

It also threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom, which as a Unionist is a risk I cannot be party to.

The British people have always been ahead of politicians on this issue, and it will be no good trying to pretend to them that this deal honours the result of the referendum when it is obvious to everyone it doesn’t.

We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal.

I cannot defend this, and I cannot vote for this deal. I could not look my constituents in the eye were I to do that. I therefore have no alternative but to resign from the Government.

It has been a huge honour to serve as Secretary as State for Work & Pensions, and I am immensely proud of the part I have played in the record levels of employment we have seen in all parts of the UK. Youth unemployment has halved since 2010, and we now have record number of women and BAME in work and since 2013, 973,000 more disabled people in work.

With employment over 3.3 million more than in 2010 we have helped 1,000 more people into work each and every day since we took office.

I am extremely grateful to you for appointing me to the role, and for the support you have given to me, not least in the run up to the budget, ensuring Universal Credit got a much need injection of £4.5 billion. That has made my decision a greater wrench.

However, in politics you have to be true to the public and also true to yourself. Had I stayed in the Government and supported this deal with the EU I wouldn’t be doing that.

Dominic Raab Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Dominic Rabb resigns from his post as Brexit Secretary.

It has been an honour to serve in your government as Justice Minister, Housing Minister and Brexit Secretary.

I regret to say that, following the Cabinet meeting yesterday on the Brexit deal, I must resign. I understand why you have chosen to pursue the deal with the EU on the terms proposed, and I respect the different views held in good faith by all of our colleagues.

For my part, I cannot support the proposed deal for two reasons. First, I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.

Second, I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit. The terms of the backstop amount to a hybrid of the EU Customs Union and Single Market obligations. No democratic nation ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangement. That arrangement is now also taken as the starting point for negotiating the Future Economic Partnership. If we accept that, it will severely prejudice the second phase of negotiations against the UK.

Above all, I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election. This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust.

I appreciate that you disagree with my judgment on these issues. I have weighed very carefully the alternative courses of action which the government could take, on which I have previously advised. Ultimately, you deserve a Brexit Secretary who can make the case for the deal you are pursuing with conviction. I am only sorry, in good conscience, that I cannot.

My respect for you, and the fortitude you have shown in difficult times, remains undimmed.

Shailesh Vara Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Shailesh Vara resigns from his post as Northern Ireland Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to offer my resignation as a Minister in your Government. I do so with sadness but I cannot supoort the Withdrawal Agreement that has been agreed with the European Union.

The EU Referendum offered a simple choice – to either stay in or leave the EU.

The result was decisive with the UK public voting to leave and that is what we, their elected representatives, must deliver.

The Agreement put forward however, does not do that as it leaves the UK in a half-way house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign nation.

Given the past performance of the EU, there is every possibility that the UK-EU trade deal that we seek will take years to conclude. We will be locked in a Customs Arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say. Worse, we will not be free to leave the Customs Arrangement uniltaterally if we wish to do so. Northern Ireland in the meantime will be subject to a different relationship with the EU from the rest of the UK and whilst I agree there should be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, the economic and constitutional integrity of the UNited Kingdom must be respected.

With respect Prime Minister, this Agreement does not provide for the the United Kingdom being a sovereign, independent country leaving the shackles of the EU, however it is worded.

We are a proud nation and it is a sad day when we are reduced to obeying rules made by other countries who have shown that they do not have our best interests at heart. We can and must do better than this. The people of the UK deserve better. That is why I cannot support this agreement.

It has been an honour and privilege to serve as a Minister in the Northern Ireland Office and I leave with the fondest of memories.

Yours,

Shailesh Vara

Remarks by President Donald Tusk – 15 November 2018

Remarks by President Donald Tusk after his meeting on 15 November 2018, with Brexit EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier. If nothing extraordinary happens, we will hold a #EUCO to finalise and formalise the #Brexit agreement on Sunday 25 November at 9h30.

I took good note of Prime Minister May’s statement yesterday. Of course, I don’t share the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm about Brexit as such. Since the very beginning, we have had no doubt that Brexit is a lose-lose situation, and that our negotiations are only about damage control.

Given these extremely difficult circumstances, I would like to thank Michel Barnier and his team, especially Sabine Weyand and Stéphanie Riso, for doing this exceptionally hard work. Michel, we all put a lot of trust in you, and rightly so. You have achieved our two most important objectives. First, you ensured the limitation of the damage caused by Brexit and, second, you secured the vital interests and principles of the 27 member states, and of the European Union as a whole. If I weren’t confident that you did your best to protect the interests of the twenty‑seven, and I am familiar with the essence of the document, I would not propose to formalise this deal.

In the next days, we will proceed as follows. The agreement is now being analysed by all the member states. By the end of this week, the EU27 ambassadors will meet in order to share their assessment of the agreement. I hope that there will not be too many comments. They will also discuss the mandate for the Commission to finalise the Joint Political Declaration about the future relations between the EU and the UK. The European ministers will be involved in this process. The Commission intends to agree the declaration about the future with the UK by Tuesday. Over the following 48 hours, the member states will have time to evaluate it, which means that the EU27 Sherpas should conclude this work on Thursday. Then, if nothing extraordinary happens, we will hold a European Council meeting, in order to finalise and formalise the Brexit agreement. It will take place on Sunday 25th November at 9:30.

Finally, let me say this to our British friends. As much as I am sad to see you leave, I will do everything to make this farewell the least painful possible, both for you and for us.

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