Former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine has been sacked as a government adviser after speaking out against leaving the European Union and rebelling over the Brexit vote in the House of Lords.
Heseltine supported an amendment to the Brexit bill that would demand a parliamentary vote on the final deal, and offer MPs a chance to send Prime Minister Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate or keep the country within the EU. The Brexit bill currently on the table does give MPs a vote after negotiation, but the only choices on offer would be to accept the deal as-is or to crash out of the EU with no deal in place at all and rely on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which could be disastrous for British businesses.
The final Brexit deal will need to be approved by the governments’ of each of the remaining 27 states within the EU, but the British government does not want to give British MPs a vote on the deal, which Heseltine and the majority of other Lords argue means a lack of British parliamentary sovereignty, a central tenet of democracy.
The Lord, who served in the governments of both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, was informed that he had been sacked for rebelling against the government by the Conservative chief whip, and said said it was a “great disappointment” for him to leave the role.
He told the BBC:
“Sometimes in politics there are issues which transcend party politics; in the end you have to be your own person. I believe our interests are intertwined with Europe. I am not prepared to change.”