Council leaders react to draft Brexit plan

 

By Leigh Boobyer – Local Democracy Reporter

Gloucestershire’s council leaders have weighed-in on the crunch Brexit day which has seen five Conservative MPs resign over Prime Minister’s Theresa May draft exit plan.

Mrs May has seen her Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey quit their top jobs this morning, attacking the PM’s blueprint of the UK’s departure of the European Union.

Three other Conservative MPs including Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara,  junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman, and PPS Anne-Marie Trevelyan, all stepped down as well.

Mrs May spent five hours last night in an “emotional” meeting with her cabinet, to persuade them to agree to the deal with the EU.

The county’s political leaders have now thrown their hats into the ring.

CONSERVATIVE

Tory leader and Councillor Mark Hawthorne (Quedgeley) said: “The Government is working hard to find a solution that’s in our national interest and which respects the result of the referendum. I hope MPs from all political parties will put the nation first in the coming months, and support that outcome.”

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT

Liberal Democrat leader Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach) said: “The Tory government is in meltdown with this latest series of ministerial resignations, including the Brexit minister himself. This is the worst crisis of governance in my adult life and it’s now clear that the Conservatives are driving the country off a cliff.

“In amongst the heart of this, however, is the critical admission from Theresa May last night. The choice before us was clear: this deal… no deal; or no Brexit at all.

“With a government in crisis and with polls showing a clear majority in favour of remain, both nationally and in Gloucestershire, we must push forcefully for a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal, with the option to remain in the EU. It is time that the people were given the power to end this mess.”

LABOUR

Labour leader Lesley Williams (Stonehouse): “It is an omnishambles. It is hightime the Tories learn they are unable to control the negotiations, the party and the future of this country.”