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Councillor to step down next year to fight for Brexit

Councillor to step down next year to fight for Brexit

A Conservative councillor has resigned from the Royal Borough cabinet and will not stand for re-election next year in order to fight for Brexit.

Cllr David Evans (Con, Hurley and Walthams), who was the cabinet member for the Maidenhead regeneration project, emailed council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) with his resignation yesterday.

In his email, which he forwarded to the Advertiser, Cllr Evans said he will now campaign for the Government to abandon Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan, which would see the UK align with European Union rules for goods after it leaves.

He said the Government had used 'bureaucratic sophistry... to mislead the 17.4 million of us who voted to leave'.

“The Government’s proposals emphatically do not end open ended immigration from the EU, do not end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and do not provide the regulatory autonomy for us to negotiate meaningful trade deals,” he wrote.

“Instead, we will be left in a Brexit ‘no man’s land’ – the worst possible outcome.”

Cllr Evans added that he saw withdrawal from the EU as a chance to ‘forge global trading relationships around the world’ and is concerned Theresa May’s blueprint for the UK’s future relationship with the bloc will not allow that.

“If we stick with the Chequers plan we will miss a historic opportunity. It is not too late to change direction,” he said.

The Chequers plan – so named after it was conceived in a July away day at the Prime Minister’s Buckinghamshire retreat - has concerned some Brexit supporters who believe the concept does not detach the UK fully from the EU.

Cllr Evans wrote: “I therefore intend to join the growing army of volunteers who will campaign to chuck Chequers.

“I will devote all my political energies to this fight and therefore want the freedom and time to speak out and campaign.

“I do not believe that I can do this whilst at the same time retaining responsibility for the regeneration portfolio and campaigning for re-election.

“I therefore intend to stand down with immediate effect from the cabinet of RBWM and will not seek to stand as a councillor next May. I will in the meantime continue to support the Conservative administration from the back benches.”

He also said it had been a ‘privilege’ to work in the council administration and praised the borough’s officers.

Update 10.50am: Cllr Dudley will become the cabinet member for Maidenhead regeneration, the council has announced.

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