For a century, British politics has been shaped by the tug of war between the two old parties—Labour and the Conservatives. Today, as three Conservative lawmakers made the shock announcement to join eight former Labour parliamentarians who broke from their party Monday, it looked like that old system could be beginning to crumble under the strain of Brexit.
The three Conservative members of parliament (MPs) all support remaining in the European Union. In a stinging letter to Theresa May confirming their resignations, they said that the prime minister had pursued a “disastrous” approach to Brexit which they said was being dictated by the extremist right wing and anti-EU fringes in the Conservative party.
The three—Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen—will now join eight former Labour lawmakers who sent shockwaves through Westminster when they announced their exit from Jeremy Corbyn’s party in protest at his approach to Brexit and failure to tackle anti-Semitic bullying.