15:04 GMT23 February 2020
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    British Justice Secretary David Gauke was among two other ministers - Chancellor Phillip Hammond and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart - who on Thursday reportedly said that they would leave government if Boris Johnson becomes the leader of the Conservative Party.

    Hammond and Gauke are reportedly among several government ministers who on Thursday abstained from a lower house vote so as to prevent the next prime minister from suspending parliament in a bid to adopt a no-deal UK withdrawal from the European Union.

    Boris Johnson has repeatedly claimed that if he becomes prime minister, the United Kingdom would leave the bloc on 31 October with or without a deal with the European Union.

    Gauke told the Sunday Times newspaper that leaving the EU without a divorce deal would lead to national “humiliation”.

    “Given that I’ve been in the Cabinet since Theresa May came to power, I think the appropriate thing is for me to resign to her”, Gauke said, quoted by The Sunday Times.

    In December 2018, UK-based media reported, citing government sources, that Gauke - a close ally of the outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May - was among UK ministers who planned to offer British voters a choice between a deal negotiated by May and a 'no-deal' Brexit. The measure could have eventually prompted a second Brexit referendum.

    In 2016, UK citizens voted to leave the European Union. The country was initially set to withdraw from the bloc in March but UK lawmakers have not endorsed a Brexit deal agreed upon between London and Brussels, and the deadline was moved to 31 October. The failure of the first deal led to the resignation of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who has spent the last two years seeking compromise.

    Politicians on both sides are now voicing concerns that a UK withdrawal without a deal will happen, given the lack of progress in settling disagreements between the United Kingdom and the European Union.


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