Gyimah is the seventh member of the government to resign in response to May's draft agreementPolicy Institute

Universities minister Sam Gyimah has resigned in response to the government’s “naive” Brexit plans, arguing that at the end of negotiations Britain will face a “democratic deficit and a loss of sovereignty the public will rightly never accept”.

Gyimah, the Conservative MP for East Surrey who has served as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation since January, is the seventh member of the government to resign following the unveiling of Theresa May’s draft EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Announcing his resignation in The Daily Telegraph, he argued that the prime minister should not rule out the possibility of a second Brexit referendum. Gyimah, who campaigned for Remain, said that the current draft agreement is “not in the British national interest”, and argued that to vote for it would be to “set ourselves up for failure” by surrendering “our voice, our vote and our veto”.

He wrote, “Britain will end up worse off, transformed from rule makers into rule takers.”

In May, Gyimah made the headlines after announcing a crackdown on ‘no-platforming’, aiming to “stamp out the institutional hostility to unfashionable views” and marking the first government intervention on free speech within universities for 31 years. Then CUSU President Daisy Eyre told Varsity she believed that Gyimah had a “fundamental misunderstanding of the issue at hand”.


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He also called for dramatic improvements to mental health support within universities earlier this year, in June, warning that institutions which fail to provide better mental health support “risk failing an entire generation of students”.

In his statement announcing his resignation, Gyimah emphasised that “innovation, scientific endeavour and our universities represent the best of Britain, underpin our economic fortunes and are central to our place in the world.”

This resignation is another blow to Theresa May prior to Parliament’s upcoming vote on the draft Brexit deal, scheduled for 11th December.

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