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Another resignation, following that of Nigel Adams this morning. Chris Heaton-Harris, the Leave-supporting former MEP who represents Daventry, has quit his ministerial role at DEXEU, where he was in charge of No Deal preparation.
Intriguingly, his letter not only praises the work done on those preparations but suggests the Prime Minister is not fully informed or accurately briefed on their progress:
‘As I believe you know, these preparations are well advanced and whilst I would have preferred to leave the European Union with your deal, I truly believe our country would have swiftly overcome any immediate issues of leaving without a deal and gone on to thrive. It has been a privilege to work with some quite brilliant civil servants in my Department and across your Government. They have moved mountains to prepare our country for leaving the European Union without a negotiated deal. Unfortunately, I do not believe the briefings you have received on these matters recently have reflected all they have achieved or the preparations our European partners have made.’
His specific reason for resigning is the combination of the Prime Minister’s rejection of No Deal as an option, and accompanying intention to seek a further Brexit delay:
‘However, I completely understand you do not want to leave the European Union without a negotia1ed deal and that obviously makes my job in Government irrelevant. I have constantly voted in Parliament for us to leave the European Union on March 29m, 2019. I truly believe we should have honoured the result of the 2016 Referendum and left on that date. Indeed every time we seek an extension to this process we diminish faith in our political system and the good people, from all political parties, who serve within it. I simply cannot support any further extension to Article 50 and this obviously means I cannot stay in government.’