Three Conservative MPs have quit the party to join an independent group in the British parliament.
Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston resigned from the ruling party on Wednesday over the government’s handling of Brexit.
The pro-EU legislators have been long-standing critics of May’s strategy to take Britain out of the European Union and will sit with the Independent Group, formed by former Labour MPs this week.
In a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May, the trio accused the Conservative Party of abandoning the political centre ground, and said “the final straw for us has been this government’s disastrous handling of Brexit.”
With Britain’s departure from the EU due on March 29 and no deal yet agreed on divorce terms, the three lawmakers accused the government of “recklessly marching the country to the cliff edge of no deal.”
The move is a blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May‘s attempts to unite her party around her Brexit plans.
She said she was “saddened” by the move and also defended her Brexit strategy.
“I am saddened by this decision”, May said in a statement, adding that the Brexit process was never going to be easy.
“But by delivering on our manifesto commitment and implementing the decision of the British people we are doing the right thing for our country.”
The Independent Group was formed by seven ex-Labour MPs, including Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, and was joined by and eighth MP on Tuesday. They said they quit the Labour party over its Brexit policy and failure to tackle anti-Semitism.