U.K. Opposition Lawmaker Quits Corbyn’s Team Over Brexit Vote

  • Jo Stevens says she will vote against triggering Article 50
  • Voting in favour of leaving EU would be “wrong,” lawmaker says

U.K. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is battling a growing revolt from his own lawmakers, as a second member of his top team resigned in protest at his plan to force them to vote for triggering Brexit.

Jo Stevens announced her decision on Twitter, saying she would defy Corbyn’s order for all lawmakers in the Labour party to vote in Parliament to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the legal notification that the U.K. will leave the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government published on Thursday a draft law to kickstart Brexit and is trying to rush it through Parliament to meet a self-imposed deadline to give the EU formal notice by the end of March.

“May is now leading our country towards a brutal exit with all the damage that will cause to the people and communities we represent,” Stevens told Corbyn in a letter on Friday. “I believe that leaving is a terrible mistake and I cannot reconcile my overwhelming view that to endorse the step that will make exit inevitable, is wrong.”

Stevens, Labour’s spokeswoman for Wales, is the most senior member of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet to quit over his stance to support Brexit. Her resignation follows that of Tulip Siddiq, a Labour lawmaker with north London constituents. Four other members of Corbyn’s team have also threatened to defy his orders.

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