MPs line up against threat of 'ludicrous' no-deal Brexit

Daniel Fowler
June 14, 2019

The threat to the next Prime Minister - today whittled down to a list of seven Conservative front-runners who will be voted on again next week - comes as several would-be leaders said they are determined to see Brexit happen in October, and some have even not ruled out suspending Parliament to prevent remain-supporting MPs from torpedoing an exit.

Led by the main opposition Labour Party, a cross-party motion is calling for MPs to take control of the House of Commons on June 25 to introduce legislation to avoid a no-deal scenario on October 31, the deadline for Britain to leave the EU.

The IoD produced figures that showed less than half of businesses had Brexit plans, and said firms should be considering all reasonable preparations for no deal. He says in a speech to be...

"Any Tory leadership candidates should know that Parliament will continue to fight against no deal".

But it wasn't enough to make up for the eight Labour MPs who opposed the motion and the few who actively abstained (most of those with "no vote recorded" were authorised absences). Departing Prime Minister Theresa May tried and failed three times to convince Parliament to approve it.

Keir Starmer, Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, said: "This is a disappointing, narrow defeat".

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"It shouldn't need saying, but many seem to have forgotten that getting a deal would be by some distance the better outcome, both for the United Kingdom and the European Union".

Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson said that he was "not aiming for a no deal" but that MPs would "reap the whirlwind" if they tried to thwart Britain's withdrawal from the EU. "No deal is not what we wish for, but still it's a possibility".

"I don't think it's sensible for candidates to box themselves into a corner on this", he said. Business Secretary Greg Clark has warned it would be "political suicide" for the party, and given his backing to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, saying he "has a clear understanding of how important it is to have a deal and to pursue the trading relationship with the European Union that I believe is vital".

"That means understanding that we can not call ourselves a "one nation" party, if there are whole swathes of this country that don't think that we share their values and their needs".

He acknowledged that his use of language - such as his description of Muslim women who wore the burka as letter boxes - sometimes resulted in "some plaster coming off the ceiling".

Referring to his record as mayor of London, he said: "I do what I promise to do as a politician".

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