15/11/2018

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.



(JG)

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

29 November 2018
Government 'Must Fund Extra Officers To Police Irish Border Post Brexit'
The UK Government must give police financial assurances that they will have the resources to patrol the Irish border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) has said.
30 November 2018
Karen Bradley: Brexit Deal Will Protect NI Jobs
The Secretary of State Karen Bradley has promoted the merits of the Brexit withdrawal agreement while touring Northern Ireland towns. Addressing business representatives in County Down, the Conservative MP said the region will be in an "unrivalled" global position to attract future foreign investment, and the region could see an economic boom.
04 December 2018
SDLP Launches Disabled Members Group
The SDLP has launched a dedicated party activist group to promote the full participation of people with disabilities within Northern Ireland's society. North Belfast MLA Nichola Mallon established the body to actively support "the full realisation of disabled people's rights within society".
18 October 2010
Politicians Help 'Kick Hate Into Touch'
An innovative campaign, the 'Unite Against Hate' sporting weekend has been launched. Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and his Junior Minister Gerry Kelly (pictured) joined forces to support the campaign which highlights all forms of hate crime and challenges people here to unite to stop it.
02 December 2002
£20m cash boost for rural post offices announced
Rural post offices in Northern Ireland are set to receive more than £6.9 million-a-year for the next three years, in the largest ever government support package for this vital community service. The money is part of a £450 million national fund to safeguard the future of thousands of rural post offices, which was unveiled by the government today.
20 June 2013
Conference Announced To Promote Jobs In NI
First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have announced a major Investment Conference on 10 and 11 October 2013 to promote jobs and growth in Northern Ireland.
05 August 2013
Environment Minister Must Consider National Park - Lo
Alliance Environment spokesperson Anna Lo has called for newly-appointed Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to consider the option of establishing a national park in Northern Ireland. "I was very disappointed by the efforts of the former Environment Minister Alex Attwood to the establishment of a national park in Northern Ireland," Ms Lo said.
15 August 2012
ICT Apprenticeship Launched
Computer buffs have been handed a new way to train and work towards employment. Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry and Finance and Personnel Minister, Sammy Wilson, today launched an ICT Apprenticeship Scheme to recruit individuals into this growing and exciting sector.
14 May 2008
Maze 'Ignored' As UK Sports Cabinet Meets
While controversy continues to surround the proposed creation of a Northern Ireland Sports Stadium - most recently with news that local sports chiefs said there was no viable alternative to the original proposal for the former Maze prison outside Lisburn - a high profile delegation is today in Belfast to discuss Northern Ireland's overall sporting
22 September 2009
Devolution Talks To Resume In NYC
Northern Ireland's top ministers will continue discussions over devolved policing and justice powers in New York tomorrow. However, First Minister Peter Robinson (pictured) has rejected the Deputy First Minister's suggestions talks were nearing completion.
28 November 2018
Hopes For L'Derry City Deal Early Next Year
A Sinn Fein MP has said she is hopeful that a City Deal for the L'Derry and the north West will be announced in the early part of 2019. It follows a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at Stormont on Tuesday 27 November, in which Elisha McCallion MP advocated for the funding.
11 September 2012
Royal Mail: Jason Smyth Will Not Get A Golden Post Box For Eglinton
Royal Mail has confirmed that Northern Irish athletes who competed for Team Ireland will not get a post box painted gold in their home town.
27 July 2007
Post Office staff to stage walkout
Further postal strikes will continue today with the expected half-day strike of counter staff at nine post offices. The nine post offices affected are in Newtownards, Bangor, Antrim, Coleraine, Londonderry, Lisburn and two in Belfast. The walkout will be the fifth in a continuing dispute over pay and conditions and will begin at 2.30pm.
23 January 2006
Loss of contract could cause Post Office collapse
The Post Office network in Northern Ireland "will collapse" if the plans to change welfare benefit payments are implemented. The warning stems from the government's refusal to renew the £1 billion contract for the Post Office Card Account. This account is used by around 4.
07 December 2018
SDLP: Life Expectancy Still Depends On Your Postcode
The SDLP has condemned the findings of a recent report which highlighted the continued disparity of life expectancy in different areas. The Department of Health published the latest outcomes for Northern Ireland on Thursday 06 December, revealing that life expectancy between 2015 and 2017 for males was 78.5 years and 82.3 for females.