Construction minister quits over threat of a no-deal Brexit happening

The minister responsible for construction has become the latest in a long list of ministerial resignations over the government’s handling of Brexit.

Richard Harrington told the prime minister Theresa May that in his role as an MP it was his “responsibility to think and act in the local and national interest” and that the government’s approach to Brexit was “playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country”.

Resigning meant Harrington was able to support an amendment put forward by Oliver Letwin to allow MPs to take control of the Brexit process through a series of indicative votes.

In his resignation letter, Harrington said: “In the event of a no deal Brexit actually happening, there would be widespread and long-standing implications for everyone. The economy may take five to ten years to adjust to the new reality, during which time jobs would be lost and livelihoods ruined. I fear that no deal would be part of a giant economic experiment that is championed by a small minority of the economics profession, a small minority of the Conservative Party, and a small minority of the country.”

The construction minister was one of three ministers to resign from the government with foreign office minister Alistair Burt and health minister Steve Brine the other two. They joined 30 rebel Conservative MPs who voted to take control of the Brexit process last night. The amendment put forward by Letwin won by 329 votes to 302 – a majority of 27.

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