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Every minister who has resigned from Theresa May’s government over Brexit so far


Brexit is the new fault line of British politics: it runs across parties, parliament and Theresa May’s top team alike.

As a Remain campaigner, the prime minister rose to office with a promise to unite the country in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

But she has suffered a wave of ministerial resignations, as senior MPs ditched their support for her – either because she was pursuing too hard a divorce from the EU or one they deemed not hard enough.

Sky News has rounded up the list of all those who have resigned over Brexit so far:

:: Rehman Chishti, Conservative vice-chairman

The Gillingham and Rainham MP has resigned saying he cannot support the draft withdrawal agreement.

In the run-up to the 2016 referendum he remained “undecided” until late in the campaign, when he declared he would be voting to leave the EU.

He has resigned as both Conservative vice-chairman and prime ministerial trade envoy to Pakistan.

Chishti said in his resignation letter that he was also quitting because he was disappointed by a “lack of leadership” shown by the government in the case of Asia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy in Pakistan.

:: Esther McVey, work and pensions secretary

The Tatton MP was the second cabinet minister to resign on Thursday – and described the draft Brexit agreement as “a risk I cannot be party to”.

One of the most vocal opponents of the deal, Ms McVey reportedly had a massive “bust-up” with Mrs May during the five-hour meeting in which the cabinet agreed to the draft text.

:: Dominic Raab, Brexit secretary

Mr Raab, Theresa May’s second Brexit secretary, was the first cabinet minister to resign on Thursday morning after the draft was agreed on by cabinet – saying he cannot support it in “good conscience”.

:: Ranil Jayawardena, ministerial aide

The North East Hampshire MP quit, saying: “I cannot agree, in the cold light of day, that the deal in front of us today is right for our country. It does not deliver a good and fair Brexit.”

He said the agreement “is not taking back control of our laws” and that he became an MP to deliver for his constituents and the country – not the EU.

:: Anne-Marie Trevelyan, education minister’s private secretary

Although she is not a minister, Mrs Trevelyan is a staunch Brexiteer who said she could not support the draft deal because the negotiations have been built on “the UK trying to appease the EU”.

Mrs Trevelyan, who protested for fishermen with Nigel Farage on a boat in the Thames, said the deal would prevent the UK “from independently negotiating access and quota shares” for fishing.

:: Suella Braverman, junior Brexit secretary

The Fareham MP is the fourth to resign after the Brexit agreement, saying the Northern Ireland backstop “is not Brexit” and it threatens to “break up our precious union”, which she said “could have been avoided”.

She added: “These concessions do not respect the will of the people… we must not let them down”.

:: Shailesh Vara, Northern Ireland minister

Mr Vara was the first member of the government to resign after the cabinet approved the draft Brexit agreement.

The morning after it was rubber-stamped he said he could not support the agreement, adding: “This leaves the UK in a halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign nation.”

:: Jo Johnson, transport minister

Proving that Brexit can divide families just as much as the rest of politics, Jo Johnson, brother of Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, quit as a transport minister last Friday.

He warned the UK was “barrelling towards an incoherent” divorce and called for another referendum on the final terms of Brexit.

A Remain-supporting minister in Orpington, where a majority of people voted to Leave in the 2016 poll, Mr Johnson attacked the draft agreement for being “so radically different to what was proposed in the referendum campaign”.

:: David Davis, Brexit secretary

Having led the UK’s Brexit strategy from the beginning, David Davis announced he was standing down in July over the PM’s Chequers proposal.

The plan for the UK’s future relationship with Brussels angered many Brexiteers.

In quitting, Mr Davis, a veteran Tory MP, said he feared the UK’s “negotiating approach” would only result in “further demands for concessions” from the EU.

:: Boris Johnson, foreign secretary

One of the biggest figures of the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson also quit as foreign secretary over the Chequers proposal.

A closely watched figure in Westminster because of rumours of a leadership challenge, the former mayor of London said the Brexit dream was “dying” under Mrs May.

He blamed “needless self-doubt”, and has continued to be a vocal critic of Mrs May’s Brexit plan since, saying it would turn the country into a colony of the EU.

:: Steve Baker, Brexit minister

Seen as Mr Davis’ deputy at the Brexit department, minister Steve Baker quit the same day.

Referring to the Chequers proposal in his resignation letter, he wrote: “I cannot support this policy with the sincerity and resolve which will be necessary”.

:: Guto Bebb, defence minister

Guto Bebb resigned as a defence minister in a surprise move ahead of a vote in the House of Commons.

He quit the government to vote against it on an amendment tabled by Leave-backer Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The Aberconwy MP complained that “the Brexit that is being delivered today could not be further from what was promised” and backed a so-called People’s Vote, a second referendum on the final divorce terms.

:: Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield, Conservative Party vice-chairs

Two senior figures within the Conservative party have also quit over Brexit.

Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield, vice-chairs for youth and women, respectively, stood down just seven months after being appointed.

:: Scott Mann, Robert Courts, Andrea Jenkyns, Chris Green, parliamentary private secretaries

More senior Conservatives have quit as aides to ministers over Brexit.

Scott Mann, Robert Courts, Andrea Jenkyns, Chris Green have all resigned as parliamentary private secretaries so far to speak out about Brexit.

(c) Sky News 2018: Every minister who has resigned from Theresa May’s government over Brexit so far