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United Kingdom minister resigns, plans to rebel over parliament's Brexit role

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Theresa May addresses the final news conference of the G7 summit in Quebec Canada

In a full statement later posted on his website, Lee said his resignation was a protest against the government's attempts to limit the role of MPs in shaping what sort of Brexit Britain will have.

"I am incredibly sad to have had to announce my resignation as a minister in Her Majesty's government so that I can better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is now being delivered", Mr Lee said on Twitter.

Passing the withdrawal bill would be a "turning point" in the Brexit process, he told the BBC's Sunday Politics, as it would be the basis for a "smooth transition" after the United Kingdom leaves.

Justice minister Dr Phillip Lee has resigned from Theresa May's government just hours before a series of crunch votes on amendments to the prime minister's flagship Brexit legislation.

Mrs May used the meeting to tell her MPs: "We must think about the message Parliament will send to the European Union this week".

The government says that would undermine its negotiating position in talks to leave the bloc and Brexit minister David Davis warned lawmakers the government would never allow them to reverse Brexit.

Labour and Conservative MPs are bitterly split over Prime Minister Theresa May's desire to keep Britain in the European Economic Area.

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"The goal of the EU Withdrawal Bill is simple - it is putting EU legislation into law to ensure a smooth and orderly transition as we leave".

On Tuesday, an amendment to give parliament a decisive vote on the final Brexit deal will be discussed.

"But the message we send to the country through our votes this week is important".

There are two amendments that could prove particularly tough for the government to overturn.

Mrs May can count on the support of the 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs - secured as part of the confidence and supply deal - but not some Tory backbenchers who voted to remain.

Pro-Remain Tories are considering whether to vote in favour of peers' changes to the bill on their demands for the government to stay open to negotiating a customs union with the EU, and on a call for a beefed-up "meaningful vote" for parliament on the final Brexit deal.

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