Conservative MP Nick Boles has resigned the party after his motion to stay in the single market failed in the latest round of votes.
Speaking at the House of Commons, he said:
I have failed, chiefly, because my party refuses to compromise. I regret, therefore, to announce, that I can no longer sit for this party.
As he departed the session, someone can be heard saying in the background, “Oh Nick, don’t go.”
Others broke out in applause.
He later tweeted that after giving “Common Market 2.0 everything I’ve got", he was “resigning the Conservative whip with immediate effect".
He added: “The Conservative Party has shown itself to be incapable of compromise so I will sit as an Independent Progressive Conservative.”
Boles' decision only adds to the mountain of challenges the government faces after MPs once more rejected alternative Brexit options to Theresa May’s deal put forward in indicative votes on Monday.
With ten days left before the 12 April deadline, the clock is running down for parliament to find a deal. Chief European negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier warned that Theresa May’s deal is "the only one".
Some people called the resignation 'extraordinary'.
Extraordinary moment as Nick Boles announces that he'll quit the Tories, after his common market 2.0 proposal faile… https://t.co/BkCVzlUKzQ