Vice-chair of Conservative Party quits over Theresa May's Brexit deal
A vice-chair of the Conservative Party has quit the role over Theresa May's Brexit deal.
Corby MP Tom Pursglove said he could not "in all conscience vote to sign our country up to an international treaty that we have no ability to leave of our own accord".
He said that as a result, he had decided to resign as the Tories' vice-chairman for youth.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Mr Pursglove said he was opposed to the so-called "backstop" plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland in any circumstances, as well as the Prime Minister's decision to sanction a £39bn divorce payment to the EU.
He added: "Whilst fully respecting the wide array of views that others sincerely hold, I have spent the entirety of my political life campaigning to leave the European Union, and I am also acutely conscious of the need to deliver on the democratic decision of the referendum, in which Corby & East Northamptonshire voted overwhelmingly to leave.
"Ultimately, last night’s vote came down to a simple matter of trust - trust I found myself unable to place in the European Union.
"That said, I wish to be absolutely clear that I remain completely opposed to a second referendum, and believe that the Government should now carefully consider the ‘managed no deal’ approach as an option to deliver the UK’s exit on the 29th March 2019."
Mr Pursglove released the statement as MPs debated a motion of no confidence in Mrs May's government.
That was called by Labour after last night's crushing defeat for Mrs May on her Brexit deal, when it was defeated with a record-breaking 230-vote majority.