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Three UK Conservatives quit party over Brexit

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 20, 2019 - Duration: 01:30s

Three UK Conservatives quit party over Brexit

Three pro-EU lawmakers from Britain's governing Conservatives quit over the government's "disastrous handling of Brexit" on Wednesday, in a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's attempts to unite her party around plans to leave the European Union.

Edward Baran reports.

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Three UK Conservatives quit party over Brexit

UPSOT OF HEIDI ALLEN, SAYING (ENGLISH): 'I'm done' Another chapter in the Brexit drama on Wednesday (February 20).

Three lawmakers from the ruling Conservatives quit the party, and sit down in parliament next to seven opposition colleagues who've formed an Independent Group.

Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen have written to British Prime Minister Theresa May to confirm their departure, over the government's "disastrous handling of Brexit".

They say they are fearful of the prospect of leaving the European Union without an exit deal.

And they want a second referendum.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ANNA SOUBRY, BRITISH INDEPENDENT GROUP LAWMAKER, SAYING ''The thing that this country does need is a people's vote on Brexit because it is the only way through the mess -- to take it back to the British people." The resignations are another headache for May - still struggling to pull the pieces together after her Brexit deal was crushed in parliament last month.

Both eurosceptics and EU supporters said the deal offers the worst of all worlds.

May said on Wednesday she'd bring a vote on a revised deal back to parliament as soon as possible But only when it was the right time to do so after securing changes from the European Union.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, SAYING: "We have listened to the House of Commons, we are working on the views of the House of Common with the European Union and we will bring a vote back when it is right time to do so." The resignations threaten a decades-old two-party system, as divisions over Brexit redraw the political landscape, and threaten May's negotiating position with Brussels.

With only 37 days until Brexit, some say more resignations could be coming soon.

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