Brexiteer minister George Eustice resigns fearing Brexit will be delayed

PUBLISHED: 15:06 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:54 28 February 2019

MP George Eustice. Photograph: House of Commons.

MP George Eustice. Photograph: House of Commons.

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A Brexiteer minister has quit the government over Theresa May's decision to allow MPs to vote on extending Brexit negotiations beyond the scheduled withdrawal date of March 29.

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The fisheries and agriculture minister George Eustice said he wanted to return to the backbenches “to be free to participate in the critical debate that will take place in the weeks ahead”.

He warned that prolonging the two-year Article 50 negotiation process could result in “the final humiliation of our country”, as the EU would dictate the terms of any extension.

Britain needs to be “ready to face down the European Union here and now” and to be prepared to walk out without a deal if necessary, he said in his resignation letter to the Prime Minister.

“We cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door,” the Camborne and Redruth MP wrote.

Eustice is a veteran Brexit campaigner having stood as a candidate for UKIP in 1999 and previously worked for the No to Euro campaign.

Susan Elan Jones MP, a leading supporter of People’s Vote, said the resignation showed Theresa May was “no nearer getting her deal through parliament”.

“Brexit has become an intractable mess and voting on this or that deal which has been tweaked with at the edges or fiddled with at the fringes is not going to change that.

“Parliament cannot agree and so it must be for the people to decide. That is why hundreds of thousands of people from every region, country and corner of the United Kingdom will be marching on the streets of London on 23 March to demand Brexit is put back to the public in a People’s Vote.”

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