‘Face down the EU here and now’: UK farming minister resigns
The UK’s Minister for Farming and Fisheries has resigned from Theresa May’s government following the decision to allow the postponement of Brexit.
Stepping down from his role earlier today (Thursday, February 28), the former minister said that he will still vote for the withdrawal agreement – but voiced concerns on the EU “dictating terms” of any extension requested, should one be required.
In his resignation letter, available through PoliticsHome, Eustice said: “I have stuck with the government through a series of rather undignified retreats.
However, I fear that developments this week will lead to a sequence of events culminating in the EU dictating the terms of any extension requested and the final humiliation of our country.
Eustice said that he had good relations with both the European Commission and ministers from other member states during his time as minister.
“However, I do not believe that the commission has behaved honourably during these negotiations. They have deliberately made progress slow and difficult.
“They have stated in terms that they will refuse to even hold substantive negotiations on a future partnership until after we leave.
If the position of Parliament is now that we will refuse to leave without an agreement then we are somewhat stuck.
“This is uncomfortable for everyone, but we cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door.”
The former minister called on the government to “face the European Union down here and now”, seeking to “reclaim our freedom first and talk afterwards”.