Here we go again. After a relatively quiet week on the resignation front for Theresa May’s shaky government, Sam Gyimah has announced that he has left his role as Universities and Science Minister. Gymiah puts his decision down to concluding that he could not vote for the EU Withdrawal agreement. He tells the Telegraph: ‘Britain will end up worse off, transformed from rule makers into rule takers. It is a democratic deficit and a loss of sovereignty the public will rightly never accept.’
Notably Gyimah does not rule out supporting a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final deal:
‘We shouldn’t dismiss out of hand the idea of asking the people again what future they want, as we all now have a better understanding of the potential paths before us.’
This is a blow to May and yet another reminder of how hard it is going to be for the government to pass this deal. Gyimah – who voted Remain – is seen as a pragmatic politician and is regularly touted as one to watch for the future. He doesn’t have an axe to grind with regard to May’s leadership which makes the resignation more damning. His departure increases the chance of other Remain-leaning colleagues following suit.
With Gyimah floating the idea of a second referendum, does this mean we should expect to see a chunk of Tory MPs call for one? In recent days, the topic of a second vote frequently comes into conversation in Westminster. Even some Leave MPs now wonder if it is the best route left to secure a true Brexit. Gyimah’s resignation has made it more likely May’s deal is voted down and options including a second referendum move into play.