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UK science minister quits over Theresa May's Brexit deal

Dec 01 2018 13:37
James Ludden, Bloomberg
 British Prime Minister Theresa May departs after

British Prime Minister Theresa May departs after speaking at a press conference after attending a special session of the European Council over Brexit on November 25, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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Theresa May’s efforts to convince British lawmakers to back the Brexit agreement she signed last week suffered a further setback when another minister resigned from her government and vowed to vote against her deal.

Sam Gyimah quit as science minister on Friday because he said May’s plan will leave Britain poorer and at the beck and call of European politicians. The Prime Minister has already lost the support of ministers including Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, and Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary.

“It is a deal in name only,” Gyimah said in a post on his Facebook page. “And we will be relying on the good faith of the EU to deliver the bespoke deal we have been led to expect.”

He also suggested it may be necessary to delay Brexit and even ask Britons to vote in a new referendum. Gyimah, who was in the Remain camp in the 2016 vote, cited the failure of talks to keep Britain in the EU’s Galileo satellite program as a sign of the difficulties to come under May’s deal.

“It has become increasingly clear to me that the proposed deal is not in the British national interest, and that to vote for this deal is to set ourselves up for failure,” he said. “We will be losing, not taking control of our national destiny.”

For May, it’s yet another hurdle to her campaign to get lawmakers to back her accord. Parliament will vote on whether to accept the terms of the settlement on December 11 and, if May’s plan is defeated, she says she’ll press ahead with preparing to exit the EU without a deal. She has repeatedly rejected any talk of a second vote.

A no-deal Brexit would risk a recession, a major hit to the pound, and longer-term damage to economic growth, according to analysis published this week.

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theresa may  |  brexit  |  uk economy
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