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UK junior Brexit minister quits over further delay to departure

UK junior Brexit minister quits over further delay to departure

In this file photo taken on Nov 21, 2018, Britain's Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, Chris Heaton-Harris (L) stands with Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Brexit Minister) Stephen Barclay, in Downing Street in London. (Photo: AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas)

LONDON: Junior Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris became the second government member to resign on Wednesday (Apr 3) after Prime Minister Theresa May said she would ask to delay Brexit again.

Heaton-Harris said in a letter to May that he would have wanted Britain to leave the European Union on the scheduled departure date of Mar 29, adding: "I simply cannot support any further extension."

Heaton-Harris, who was responsible for no-deal Brexit preparations, said Britain "would have swiftly overcome any immediate issues of leaving without a deal and gone on to thrive".

He said May's announcement showed she did not want to leave the EU without a negotiated deal.

"That obviously makes my job in government irrelevant," he said.

May held talks with Labour main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to forge a Brexit compromise, which has enraged the staunchly pro-Brexit wing of her Conservative Party.

Junior Wales minister Nigel Adams earlier resigned in protest at what he said was May's "grave error" in judgement.

Source: AFP/ec

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