House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has resigned from the government, citing frustration with Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit plan and “dangerous” proposals such as the second referendum.
“I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result,” Leadsom wrote in her resignation letter, handed to May on Wednesday. Leadsom stated that the chance of a second Brexit referendum – offered by May to MPs who agree to back her withdrawal agreement bill – is “dangerously divisive,” and could risk “undermining our union.”
“The tolerance to those in Cabinet who have advocated policies contrary to the Government’s position has led to a complete breakdown of collective responsibility,” Leadsom, who had opposed any deal that may involve a customs union with the EU, added.
The chance of a customs union made it impossible for Leadsom to support May’s deal, she told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday.
“I have been very clear for years – leaving the EU means leaving the single market, leaving the customs union, taking back control of our money, border and laws,” she said.
Leadsom’s resignation is the 36th ministerial resignation under May, and the 21st over the PM’s handling of Brexit. May now faces increasing pressure to resign or call a general election, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn describing a fresh election as a chance to “break the Brexit deadlock and give the country a say.”
A Downing Street spokesman said that May’s office is “disappointed that she has chosen to resign,” and added that May “remains focused on delivering the best Brexit people voted for.”
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has surged in the polls, and is predicted to take 35 percent, more than Labour and the Conservatives combined.