May faces more Brexit woes after another UK minister quits

May faces more Brexit woes after another UK minister quits

LONDON — The latest minister to quit British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government because of Brexit said Saturday that the prime minister’s divorce agreement with the European Union would leave Britain outnumbered and outmanoeuvred in future negotiations.

Ex-Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah likened the deal to playing soccer against opponents who “are the referee and they make the rules as well.”

May is battling to persuade British lawmakers to back the Brexit agreement when Parliament votes on it Dec. 11. She and EU leaders say rejecting the divorce terms, which were endorsed by the EU last weekend, would leave the U.K. facing a messy, economically damaging “no-deal” Brexit on March 29.

But many British lawmakers on both sides of the Brexit debate oppose the deal — Brexiteers because it keeps Britain bound closely to the EU, and pro-EU politicians because it erects barriers between the U.K. and its biggest trading partner.

The two-part agreement includes the legally binding terms of the U.K.’s departure and an ambitious but vague declaration about future relations between the two sides.

Gyimah, who backed remaining in the EU during Britain’s 2016 referendum, said the agreement was “a deal in name only.”

“We’ve got a wish-list of aspirations that we intend to negotiate with the EU (after) we’ve lost our voice, our veto and our vote,” he told Sky News.

Gyimah is the seventh member of May’s Conservative government to quit over the Brexit deal. His resignation came after May said Britain was abandoning efforts to retain full access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system after Brexit.

Britain has been a major player in developing the system, but the EU says only member states can work on developing the high-security encrypted parts of Galileo for use by the military and critical infrastructure sectors.

May said, given the EU’s decision “to bar the U.K. from being fully involved in developing all aspects of Galileo, it is only right that we find alternatives.” She said Britain would develop its own sat-nav system, at an estimated cost of several billion pounds (dollars).

Gyimah said “what has happened with Galileo is a foretaste of the brutal negotiations we will go through that will weaken our national interest, make us poorer, less secure.”

May has acknowledged the Brexit deal is not perfect, but says it delivers on voters’ decision to leave the EU while retaining close ties with the bloc, a key trading partner and ally.

She got a vote of confidence Saturday from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who praised May’s “leadership” in sealing the Brexit agreement.

Speaking at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Abe urged May “to avoid no deal, as well as to ensure transparency, predictability as well as legal stability in the Brexit process.”

Japanese automakers Honda and Nissan have warned that new tariffs or other trade barriers with the EU would damage their competitiveness of their British factories, which employ thousands of people.

May also received support from Environment Secretary Michael Gove, a key Brexit-backing minister, who wrote in the Daily Mail newspaper that lawmakers should back the deal rather than hold out for a “perfect plan.”

“Does the deal deliver 100 per cent of what I wanted? No. But then we didn’t win 100 per cent of the vote (in the referendum),” Gove wrote. “In politics, as in life, you can’t always get everything that you want.”

The Bank of England warned this week that leaving the EU without a divorce deal could plunge Britain into its deepest recession in nearly a century, with the economy shrinking 8 per cent within months as unemployment and inflation soared.

Just Posted

New admissions have been suspended for Engineering Technology diplomas (Instrumentation, Electrical and Mechanical) and the Transitional Vocational Program at Red Deer College. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Developmentally disabled impacted: Red Deer College suspends program

Transitional Vocational Program comes to an end

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman holds up freedom of information requests that turned up no records. The Opposition requested back-to-school re-entry plan correspondence between Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and school boards, teachers and the media. Photo via Facebook live
NDP renews calls for Alberta gov’t to scrap K-6 draft curriculum

The NDP is once again calling on the Alberta Government to get… Continue reading

Earlier this week Alberta Health Services warned that Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department would be temporarily without physician coverage from May 12, at 6 p.m., to May 13, at 7 a.m. (Photo contributed by the Town of Rocky Mountain House)
Doctors needed in Rocky Mountain House

Emergency department temporarily closed due to doctor shortage

The owner of Mae’s Kitchen in Mirror, says hamlet residents were ‘disheartened’ by a recent anti-restriction protest. The restaurant is following all the health restrictions in place. (Photo courtesy Mae’s Kitchen Facebook)
‘We don’t need that’: Mirror restaurant against recent anti-restriction protest

A week after a large anti-restriction protest at The Whistle Stop Cafe… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) as TJ Brodie (78) defends during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday, May 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Atletico Ottawa defender Vashon Neufville controls the ball during Atletico Ottawa’s first team practice of their inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League in Ottawa, Wednesday June 3, 2020. The Canadian Premier League plans to kick off its third season mid-June to early July in one location without fans. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie
Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) deflects a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, celebrates a goal with teammates during third period NHL action against the Montreal Canadiens, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 5, 2021. Brown will lead a young Canadian squad into the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jayna Hefford shakes hands with people associated with the hall before a hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils in Toronto. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association is forging ahead in its bid to establish an economically sustainable professional league in North America with or — for now — without the NHL’s full financial backing. In response to Sportsnet.ca reporting the NHL was not in a position to operate a women’s league for the foreseeable future, PWHPA executive Jayna Hefford wrote in an email to The Associated Press late Thursday that her group has begun developing what she called “a parallel path for a future that doesn’t rely on NHL support.” (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Most Read