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UK junior Brexit minister quits over further delay to departure

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Junior Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris(L) became the second government member to resign on Wednesday after Prime Minister Theresa May said she would ask to delay Brexit again.

[LONDON] Junior Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris became the second government member to resign on Wednesday after Prime Minister Theresa May said she would ask to delay Brexit again.

Mr Heaton-Harris said in a letter to May that he would have wanted Britain to leave the European Union on the scheduled departure date of March 29, adding: "I simply cannot support any further extension."

Mr Heaton-Harris, who was responsible for no-deal Brexit preparations, said Britain "would have swiftly overcome any immediate issues of leaving without a deal and gone on to thrive".

He said Mrs May's announcement showed she did not want to leave the EU without a negotiated deal.

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"That obviously makes my job in government irrelevant," he said.

Mrs May held talks with Labour main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to forge a Brexit compromise, which has enraged the staunchly pro-Brexit wing of her Conservative Party.

Junior Wales minister Nigel Adams earlier resigned in protest at what he said was Mrs May's "grave error" in judgement.

AFP