A Tory has resigned the whip this morning after Theresa May committed to working with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to deliver Brexit.
Read more: Pound rises on May-Corbyn Brexit talks
MP Nigel Adams has quit his position in the government’s Whips Office, accusing May of being on course to failing to deliver Brexit and failing to stop Labour winning power.
“I and many others agreed with your previous position that no deal is better than a bad deal,” he said in his letter of resignation.
“It now seems that you and your cabinet have decided that a deal – cooked up with Marxist who has never once in his political life, put British interests first – is better than no deal.”
Adams said he was in favour of a “managed” no-deal Brexit over seeking cross-party talks with Labour on Brexit.
He added that the Prime Minister’s seven-hour marathon cabinet meeting yesterday was a missed opportunity to take the initiative on Brexit.
“However, by legitimising and turning to Jeremy Corbyn to assist you at this crucial stage, rather than being bold, is a grave error,” Adams told the PM.
“It is clear that we will now end up in the customs union. That is not the Brexit my constituents were promised, and it is contrary to the pledge we made in our manifesto.”
Earlier Brexit minister Robin Walker told Sky News that working with Labour is “not comfortable for us in politics but it is in the national interest”.
Sterling rose as Walker said talks could begin as early as today, rising as high as $1.3188 before slipping back to $1.3172.
Following yesterday’s cabinet, this morning I’ve been to Downing Street & resigned my position as UK Govt Minister for Wales & Govt Whip. I’m grateful to the PM for the opportunity to serve as a Minister since 2017 & will continue to serve my constituents from the backbenches. pic.twitter.com/W15xS4cOBP— Nigel Adams MP (@nadams) April 3, 2019
May’s decision yesterday to work with Corbyn sparked furious infighting inside the Conservative party as hardliners reacted angrily to the likelihood of a softer Brexit.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told City A.M.: “I fear for Brexit. It’s never going to happen.
“Jeremy Corbyn is a man who would reduce the United Kingdom to an adjunct of Venezuela.”
The Prime Minister will ask the EU for another extension to Article 50, which currently runs out on 12 April with no sign of a deal in place.
May wants an extension to end “when we pass a deal” – a process she hopes can conclude before 22 May to avoid the UK taking part in the European parliament elections.
Corbyn has said: “I've agreed to meet Theresa May to ensure a disastrous no-deal outcome is prevented, and so Labour can give security and certainty to the people of this country.”
The Labour leader has stated he wants a customs union and workers’ rights to be included in any Brexit deal.