Digital minister James signals willingness to quit over no-deal Brexit

Written by Sam Trendall on 27 February 2019 in News
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Margot James says she ‘couldn’t be part of a government’ that oversaw the UK departing the EU without a deal

Credit: UK Parliament/CC BY 3.0

Digital Margot James has indicated that she would be willing to resign or face the sack unless the government rules out the possibility that the UK will leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

James (pictured above) teamed up with minister for business and industry Richard Harrington and energy minister Claire Perry to express support for an expected amendment that will permit MPs to delay Brexit if an exit agreement has not been signed off. The trio urged prime minister Theresa May to commit to extending article 50 if a deal cannot be put in place before 29 March.


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Writing in the Daily Mail, they said: “It is a commitment that would be greeted with relief by the vast majority of MPs, businesses and their employees. We implore the government to take that step this week. But if the prime minister is not able to make this commitment, we will have no choice other than to join MPs of all parties in the House of Commons, including fellow ministers, in acting in the national interest to prevent a disaster in less than five weeks’ time that we may regret forever.”

James expanded on these comments during an appearance this week on BBC Radio 4’s Today show.

“All of us are agreed that we couldn’t be part of a government that allowed the country to leave the European Union without a deal,” she said.

When asked whether the three of them would be willing to quit or be fired if the government retained a no-deal Brexit as an option, James said “if it comes to that, yes”.

James was appointed as minister for digital and the creative industries in January 2018. She has been the member of parliament for Stourbridge since first being elected in 2010. Her previous roles include assistant government whip.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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