Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

United Kingdom justice minister resigns over Brexit policy

United Kingdom justice minister resigns over Brexit policy

Ahead of the EU Withdrawal Bill's return to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Theresa May warned Conservative backbenchers against allowing House of Lords amendments to the legislation to stand.

In a statement, Lee said: "I will miss the Ministry of Justice and the enormous privilege of guiding our government's work to turn around the lives of vulnerable young offenders and female offenders; to mobilise the remarkable power of sport to transform lives and cut crime; and to improve how we deal with offenders" health and mental health which drives so much human behaviour.

Among the 14 amendments to the Bill - set to be voted on by MPs on Tuesday and Wednesday - are changes which would see the United Kingdom stay in the Single Market and would allow Parliament to dictate future negotiating terms.

Phillip Lee's resignation came hours before British Prime Minister Theresa May faces crunch votes in parliament and a potential showdown with pro-EU rebels in her ruling party.

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"But the message we send to the country through our votes this week is important".

The MP says he will back a knife edge vote created to give parliament the power to vote down May's Brexit deal. On Wednesday, it will debate an amendment instructing the government to negotiate a customs union with the EU.

'The objective of the EU Withdrawal Bill is simple - it is putting EU legislation into law to ensure a smooth and orderly transition as we leave, ' she is expected to tell them. The government said it would not support that amendment.

The Government is against the plan, believing it sends the wrong message to Brussels regarding the UK's negotiating goals.

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"The main reason for my taking this decision now is the Brexit process and the government's wish to limit parliament's role in contributing to the final outcome in a vote that takes place today", Lee, who voted to remain in the European Union during Britain's 2016 referendum, said on his website.

Crucial to it all will be the 10 DUP votes and they are expected to vote with the Government.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston said on Monday morning she was "minded" to defy party orders and back the meaningful vote amendment.

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