WINCHESTER’S MP has said he quit the government after getting frustrated in going around in circles over Brexit.

Steve Brine announced the news that he would resign a public health minister late on Monday evening.

It came as MPs backed a move to hold indicative votes to find a way to solve the current Brexit impasse in the House of Commons.

Mr Brine said resigning so he could go against the government and support that move was “the honourable thing” in his letter to Prime Minister Theresa May.

He said: “Leaving without a withdrawal agreement... is not acceptable to me or in the national interest. I know the vast majority of my constituents in Winchester share that view.”

Following the news, Mr Brine added: “You have to do something to have a deal... let’s have a plan B.

“[Theresa May] doesn’t have to lose control of Brexit. She has to recognise we don’t have a majority in the House of Commons. You can’t do executive-led government in the same way. She needs to recognise parliament is strong in a hung parliament.

“We’re not stupid, we’re not going to come up with unicorns.”

In the letter, he also said he still backed the Prime Minister, and supported her withdrawal agreement which has been rejected on a large scale twice by MPs.

Mr Brine said the decision to quit the government was not down to one thing. He said: “It’s not like one event happened, it’s just a series of things over the past six months.

“I was frustrated by us going around the same circle.

“There comes a point where I have to decide whether I’m complicit in proceeding towards a no deal.”

Winchester MP Steve Brine's letter of resignation in full:

Dear Prime Minister,

Thank you for your time this evening here in the House of Commons to discuss Brexit and the next steps for our Government and our country following las week’s EU summit.

As we discussed at length, I feel so passionate that leaving without a withdrawal agreement (commonly referred to as a ‘deal’) is not acceptable to me or in the national interest. I know the vast majority of my constituents in Winchester share that view.

My view on ‘no deal’ has formed as a result of countless public statements from business, public services, security services and testimony from a wide range of my own constituents. That is in addition to almost three years working inside Government as a Minister, including the last 20 months at the Department for Health. I want to pay tribute to the highly competent and professional team at DH, led by your outstanding Secretary of State Matt Hancock, who have done everything they can to ensure medicines and medical supplies will be protected for patients whatever form our exit from the EU takes. Health is without question the best prepared department in Whitehall and the team deserve credit for that.

But I realise ­– as you have said time and again – that you cannot wish away no deal, you only do that by having a deal.

As you know, I have supported you draft withdrawal agreement twice and would do so again without hesitation. I think it respects the 2016 referendum result moving us from a constitution to a Treaty arrangement and MPs of all parties (and none) should support it. Regrettably however it looks like a tall order for it to pass the House of Commons so we are left in a position where the House must find a common position that can.

My belief is that the only way to achieve that is by a series of ‘indicative’ votes and I want to support the amendment in the name of our colleague Oliver Letwin. At this stage in the endgame of the Brexit process, I was not prepared to vote against that (or another amendment which again makes clear our wish to avoid no deal) so the honourable thing was to leave the Government tonight and vote accordingly.

Our party exists to serve this country and to deal with all the pressing domestic issues that matter to your constituents and mine. We have discussed many times how we want to get back to that agenda and I will support you 100% in that endeavour as our Prime Minister.

Thank you for giving me the chance to serve as Public Health Minister; it is a role I have cherished and enjoyed. I will carry on some of that work from the backbenches.

Yours always,

Steve Brine,