'The Government is in freefall' - Sunderland MPs slam Prime Minister Theresa May following resignations over Brexit draft

A Wearside MP claims the Government is "in freefall" after several cabinet members resigned from their posts over Theresa May's Brexit plan.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey today announced she was quitting following the resignation of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab earlier on.

MP Sharon Hodgson.

MP Sharon Hodgson.

Suella Braverman has also resigned as a Brexit minister, saying she was "unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by Cabinet", while Anne-Marie Trevelyan resigned as a parliamentary private secretary in the Department for Education, saying she cannot support the Brexit deal after negotiations "built on the UK trying to appease the EU".

Sharon Hodgson, who represents Washington and Sunderland West, accused the Prime Minister of abandoning "any form of domestic governance".

Mrs Hodgson said: "Theresa May’s Government, Brexit Plan, and Cabinet are in complete freefall.

"It’s astonishing to think that it is now well over two years since the Referendum, and the Government still doesn’t have an agreed plan.

MP Bridget Phillipson.

MP Bridget Phillipson.

"My constituents deserve better than a Government that has abandoned any form of domestic governance, and instead is using the future of people's livelihoods as the battleground for their chronic internal divisions."

Mrs Hodgson's Labour colleague Bridget Phillipson, who represents Houghton and Sunderland South, said: “The resignation of several ministers shows that this shoddy deal barely commands support in Theresa May’s own cabinet, let alone Parliament or the country.

"The fact is that this is the worst of both worlds, and will see Britain give away control as we accept future EU rules without having a say.

"We shouldn’t accept the false choice between Theresa May’s plan or “no deal”.

Prime Minister Theresa May. Pic by PA.

Prime Minister Theresa May. Pic by PA.

"Both would be bad for jobs and livelihoods in our community, our NHS, and our young people’s futures.

"The Government has now had almost two and a half years since the 2016 referendum to try and negotiate a deal in the national interest.

"If this botched plan is the best they can do, the British public deserve a say on whether they want to leave the EU on these terms, or
would rather stick with the deal we’ve already got.”

And Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott said: "This Tory Government is in chaos. The Prime Minister cannot even convince the cabinet she herself appointed to agree with her.

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. Pic by PA.

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. Pic by PA.

"This draft agreement does not provide businesses with the long term certainty they need, and it does not protect the rights of workers in this country.

"It will leave people of the North East poorer, and will threaten the opportunities our young people have in the future.

"The Prime Minister has presented this as a false choice between her botched deal and an extremely damaging no deal.

"These are not the only options. I will not vote for a deal that harms my constituents.

"If the Government cannot agree a deal that is better than what we had before, they should put the question back to the people."

Mrs May gave a press conference on the Brexit withdrawal agreement outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday evening admitting there were "difficult days ahead".

She said: "When you strip away the detail, the choice before us is clear: this deal, which delivers on the vote of the referendum, which brings back control of our money, laws and borders, ends free movement, protects jobs, security and our Union; or leave with no deal, or no Brexit at all.

Former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey. Pic by PA.

Former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey. Pic by PA.

"I know that there will be difficult days ahead.

"This is a decision which will come under intense scrutiny, and that is entirely as it should be and entirely understandable.

"But the choice was this deal, which enables us to take back control and to build a brighter future for our country, or going back to square one with more division, more uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the referendum."