A minister’s resignation suggests Brexit amendment votes might be enough to topple the Tories

Theresa May with EU and Union jack projected onto her face
Support us and go ad-free

On 12 June, fifteen key Brexit amendments set by the House of Lords come up for debate in the Commons.

On the day of the vote, justice minister Dr Phillip Lee announced his resignation on the grounds he could not vote with the government against these EU (Withdrawal) Bill amendments. And there’s also speculation he may not be the only one.

“Last resort”

Ahead of his formal resignation letter, he issued a series of tweets outlining his position:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

And his position was critical of Theresa May and her government’s approach to Brexit:

One of his key points is support for an amendment that will give parliament a final say in the Brexit vote:

He said resigning was a “last resort”:

According to some, his resignation pinpoints the dangers of the Brexit deal May’s government will try to push through:

And that’s not all

Following Lee’s resignation, rumours emerged suggesting he may not be the only one:

The editor of the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog joined in:

And so did Labour peer Andrew Adonis:

And apparently the news has ruffled supporters of a hard Brexit, favoured by Boris Johnson and others:

Lee’s resignation could cause issues if the government tries to impose a three-line whip:

As a justice minister, Lee also held responsibility for post-Brexit human rights:

Following the Windrush scandal, the government’s policy on human rights is a major concern. So many, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, think it’s vital that we remain committed to supporting human rights in the UK after Brexit:

However, Lee’s voting record should remind us all that he’s not exactly a hero either.

What’s it all about?

According to Sky News, the “government disagrees” with nine of the proposed amendments. But the amendments that the government disagrees with will have far-reaching implications for us all. Because the Lords amendments have been proposed to curtail a potential ‘power grab’ by May’s government during and after any Brexit negotiations.

But the amendments go further, and also include:

  • “Enhanced protection for certain areas of EU legislation. This amendment stops the Government changing any EU law relating to the environment, consumers and employment without putting it before MPs first.”
  • Keeping the ‘Charter of Fundamental Rights’. This is important because it “covers a range of rights – such as a right to life, freedom of religion, and fair working conditions – and is the yardstick against which all EU law is drawn up against.”
  • Supporting a “Meaningful role for Parliament at end of negotiations”. Which is one of “the biggest changes to the Bill, and would have a dramatic impact on Brexit. This amendment strengthens the role Parliament plays in the negotiations.”
  • Ensuring that the Good Friday agreement is supported following Brexit. Because this ensures that any “new border arrangements could only be implemented if agreed with the Irish Government”.
  • As previously reported in The Canary, ensuring that unaccompanied child refugees can still join relatives in the UK.

The right-wing press has gone to town over these votes. But that really just shows how important they are:

Get the popcorn…

Lee’s resignation is significant, and many are watching to see if other Tories might follow and vote against May’s government. But it’s possible that we might, finally, see democracy in action amid the Brexit chaos.

And, perhaps, this could be enough to topple May’s weak hold on power.

Time to get the popcorn…

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via muffin/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed