NI Minister Shailesh Vara Quits Following Brexit Draft Deal

Northern Ireland Minister Shailesh Vara has resigned from his post, stating that he cannot support Theresa May's Brexit agreement, which "leaves the UK in a halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign nation".

Mr Vara was the first Minister to quit following a Cabinet meeting in London on Wednesday 14 November, and was swiftly followed by Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

In a statement posted online on Thursday, the former NI Minister said the people "deserve better" than the deal being offered.

"We are a proud nation and it is a sad day when we are reduced to obeying rules made by other countries who have shown that they do not have our best interests at heart," the Tory MP for North West Cambridgeshire added.
News Image
Mr Vara was promoted to the Government post in July, having previously been a parliamentary private secretary in the Northern Ireland Office.

Meanwhile, the announcement that Dominic Raab has also quit poses a huge blow to the Conservative leader.

The Brexit Secretary took over in the summer after David Davis resigned in protest to Mrs May's withdrawal strategy, and said he "cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU".

In his letter to the Prime Minister, which he posted on Twitter, Mr Raab said the deal represented a "very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom" because of the provisions made for Northern Ireland.

He added that he could not accept "an indefinite backstop arrangement" for the Irish border.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 April 2019
Other News In Brief
Man Arrested By Police Probing INLA Activities Detectives investigating the activities of the dissident republican INLA group have arrested a 49-year-old man. He is being detained under the Terrorism Act. The arrest follows a search of a property in Strabane this morning. The man is being questioned at Musgrave Police Station.
17 April 2019
Trading Standards Probe Baggage Sizers At NI Airports
The Department for Economy's Trading Standards Service (TSS) has been inspecting the size of baggage sizers used by airlines at each of the three airports in Northern Ireland.
05 April 2019
UK Requests Further Brexit Delay
Prime Minister Theresa May has written to European Union officials to request a further Brexit delay until 30 June. The date for the UK's departure currently stands just one week away, Friday 12 April, with no withdrawal agreement in place as yet.
15 April 2019
Other News In Brief
Titanic Commemoration Service Held At Belfast City Hall A service to remember the lives lost in the Titanic tragedy has taken place today, Monday 15 April, at the memorial grounds of Belfast City Hall. 1,512 men, women, and children died on the RMS Titanic's maiden voyage on this date in 1912, 107 years ago.
15 April 2019
Powered Wheelchairs Now Available For Young Children In NI
Families in Northern Ireland can now access free powered wheelchairs for children with disabilities thanks to a new charity partnership. The Mae Murray Foundation has teamed up with the UK assistive technology charity Designability to provide Wizzybugs to disabled children under five.