“LEAVING without a deal would be a disaster for this country” – Stourbridge MP Margot James has said in her resignation letter following her decision to quit her ministerial job.

Ms James quit her role as minister for digital yesterday (Thursday) after backing an amendment in the House of Commons to try to prevent the next Prime Minister from suspending Parliament to allow the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

The Tory MP told the News she was not expecting to resign yesterday but said she was planning to quit if Boris Johnson wins the leadership contest and becomes the next Prime Minister next week.

In her resignation letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, released today, she said she had been “proud” to support the government during difficult times and she went on: “I have never found it easy to vote to leave the European Union; but in line with the wishes of a solid majority of my constituents, and a narrow majority of the country as a whole, I have done so on every occasion when the vote has been put.

“I think you negotiated a fair and reasonable deal that honoured the referendum result by getting Britain out of the EU institutions, gaining control of our immigration policy, as well as agriculture and fisheries whilst delivering as much access to the single market as possible.”

She added: “I believe leaving without a deal would be disastrous for this country. To turn our backs on our biggest trading partner would make us dangerously dependent on the US at the very worst possible time. Whether we like it or not there are three principal economic powers in the world today; China, the US and the EU. To go from this position of one of the three most powerful countries in the EU to being without even a formal security and treading relationship with the EU, or anybody else, is reckless in the extreme.

“I know how hard you have worked to ensure we do not leave in such a manner, whilst reflecting the result of the referendum. It seems quite incredible to me that we have colleagues in a Conservative government who find it acceptable to go against the views of virtually every business organisation, representing every sector of the economy, (with the possible exception of fishing) most of the Trade Unions, the Bank of England, the universities and scientific communities and so on, in their willingness to countenance leaving the EU without a deal.”

She said there was a great deal of valuable work going on which she would continue to support from the back benches and that she would continue to do everything she can “to ensure that we leave the EU with a negotiated deal and close relationship with our European partners in the future”.

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