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Rehman Chishti resigns as Conservative party vice chairman over Brexit deal

By Paul Francis

One of the county's MPs has quit his job as vice-chairman of the Conservative party in protest at the Brexit deal.

Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti said the deal did not deliver the promises made to the British people in the party’s manifesto, notably that leaving the EU would mean leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union.

He has also quit a role as trade envoy to Pakistan.

Rehman Chishti
Rehman Chishti

In his letter of resignation, the MP who was one of several vice chairman for the party, said: “It would not be appropriate for me to continue in these roles as it would require me to advocate for a position which I feel is contrary to our firm manifesto commitment which I stood for in 2017 and have publicly advocated since.

“The terms of the backstop in effect amount in my view to a hybrid membership of the EU customs union and single market and further the EU would have a veto over our ability to exit.

"The UK in effect will be a part of a system where it will be a rule taker without any say on the rules.”

He says he will continue to work day and night to ensure there is a Conservative government “which helps to create a country that works for all with the core belief in aspiration and opportunity for all".

His resignation comes in a dramatic day which has seen Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey also quit in protest at the Prime Minister's deal.

Mr Raab said he thinks the plans for Northern Ireland represent a very real threat to the integrity of the UK.

Ms McVey said in her resignation letter: "We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal."

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