Britain’s Northern Ireland Minister Shailesh Vara resigned Thursday over the draft Brexit deal agreed by EU and U.K. negotiators.
Vara said in his resignation letter, posted on Twitter, that the draft withdrawal agreement doesn’t deliver on the promises made to voters, and “leaves the U.K. in a half-way house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign state.”
Vara added that under the “customs arrangement” in the deal, the U.K. will be indefinitely “bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” and said that “whilst I agree there should be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom must be respected.”
Vara’s resignation is the first to hit Prime Minister Theresa May since her Cabinet agreed Wednesday to back the draft Brexit deal struck with the EU. According to media reports, between nine and 11 senior ministers have expressed concerns about the deal, and many of them are are under pressure from backbench colleagues to resign.
With much sadness and regret I have submitted my letter of resignation as a Northern Ireland Minister to the Prime Minister. A copy of my letter is attached.
It has been a joy and privilege to serve in the Northern Ireland Office and I will always cherish the fondest memories. pic.twitter.com/SN8j4OwhYD
— Shailesh Vara MP (@ShaileshVara) November 15, 2018