Three pro-Brexit MPs of the ruling Conservative Party resigned on February 20 to join the group of eight independent MPs that left the Labour Party only two days before in protest to the ongoing uncertainty of the negotiations over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on March 29.
Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston, and Heidi Allen wrote a joint letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May to confirm that they were leaving the Conservatives and made clear that they believe that the party has shifted too far to the right and has managed the Brexit negotiations “disastrously.”
Much like the situation in the Labour Party, this may not be the end of the defections.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said it was a “great shame to have lost the commitment and undeniable talent” of the three MPs, while MP Nicky Morgan said the party “should regret losing three talented women from the Conservative Party.”
This latest shockwave leaves May’s government with a slight majority of only three, making ever-more reliant on the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. With 11 MPS, the Independent Group that has formed in the last week now has as many MPs as the Liberal Party.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said his party would “hold out a hand of friendship” to the Independents, an announcement that led May to comment that the Conservatives would continue to offer “moderate and patriotic politics”.