Tory minister Philip Lee resigns ahead of Brexit vote

The MP says he will back a knife edge vote created to give parliament the power to vote down May's Brexit deal.

It follows an article in the Sunday Telegraph co-authored by two senior Conservatives, Remainer Amber Rudd and Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith, calling for unity in the party, and warning that any rebellion will only play into the Labour leader's hands.

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.

A key British minister has resigned only hours before a decisive Brexit vote for Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

In a full statement later posted on his website, Lee said his resignation was a protest against the government's attempts to limit the role of MPs in shaping what sort of Brexit Britain will have.

The United Kingdom is now part of the European Union single market but if London leaves it after Brexit, Britain will have to negotiate new trade deals with its partners, including the United States.

Kylie Jenner ‘deletes’ Stormi
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Lee's resignation came shortly after he gave a speech to the Bright Blue think tank on Tuesday morning in which he expressed concern over how his party was handling Brexit.

Earlier this year, Mr Lee had called on the government to release its economic impact assessments of Brexit and suggested the government change tack in talks with the EU.

Despite depending on the votes of the 10 DUP MPs for her precarious Commons majority, there were signs of cautious optimism among ministers that they would get the numbers to see off the revolt. This means MPs and Lords could tell May to go back to negotiating table and get something better.

On Monday, she used a meeting of Conservative MPs to warn them that voting against the government would undermine her negotiating position.

"I am incredibly sad to have had to announce my resignation as a minister in Her Majesty's government so that I can better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is now being delivered", Mr Lee said on Twitter. On Wednesday, it will debate an amendment instructing the government to negotiate a customs union with the EU.

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