Theresa May suffers new Government resignation over Chequers Brexit agreement
Theresa May is facing growing dissent from within her own party, as ministerial aide Scott Mann became the ninth Tory to quit his post over her latest Brexit plan.
The North Cornwall MP this morning announced that he would be stepping down as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Treasury over the plans contained in the Government’s White Paper, which he said would lead to a “watered down Brexit”.
In a letter, he wrote: “Over the coming days, weeks and months I fear that elements of the Brexit White Paper will inevitably put me in direct conflict with the views expressed by a large section of my constituents.
“I am not prepared to compromise their wishes to deliver a watered down Brexit.”
The exit will come as a further blow to Mrs May, who has now suffered nine resignations since her crunch summit in Chequers earlier this month.
In the wake of the meeting, at which a new customs plan was hashed out, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis dramatically quit their Cabinet posts.
They were joined by Brexit minister Steve Baker and a string of ministerial aides, culminating in the resignation last night of Foreign Office PPS Robert Courts.
Mr Courts wrote on Twitter: “I had to think who I wanted to see in the mirror for the rest of my life. I cannot tell the people of WOxon [West Oxfordshire] that I support the proposals in their current form."
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is also braced for a Brexit rebellion in the Commons today, as Conservative Eurosceptics attempt to torpedo her plans through a series of amendments to the Customs Bill.
The changes were tabled by the powerful Tory Brexiteer European Research Group and will be voted on by MPs this evening.
While the amendments - which will not be supported by Labour - stand little chance of passing, they will shed light on the scale of the rebellion facing Mrs May over her plans for a "common rulebook" with the EU on traded goods and close customs ties in a "UK-EU Free Trade Area".