Tue. Mar 19th, 2019

Voting down deal risks cancelling Brexit – Hunt

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Brexit could be cancelled if MPs vote down the deal reached with Brussels, the foreign secretary has warned.

Jeremy Hunt said parliament would “try very hard to rule out” a no-deal divorce with the EU and leave the UK in “paralysis”.

“The big risk and what people worry about is that we don’t actually deliver what people voted for,” he said.

His intervention is the most significant from a cabinet minister acknowledging that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit could be blocked.

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Image: The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March by default

Mr Hunt admitted the parliamentary arithmetic was “challenging”, with more than 90 Conservative MPs vowing to vote against the deal before Christmas.

But he remained optimistic about Prime Minister Theresa May getting her withdrawal agreement through parliament, touting two MPs who had changed their mind and will now support it.

“I think we shouldn’t forget that in the kind of unprecedented situation that we’re in things are changing very, very fast,” he said.

House of Commons. Pic: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy
Image: The Commons will vote on Mrs May’s deal on Tuesday. Pic: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

“MPs are all reflecting, and what they’re all thinking is what is the best way that we can be true to our manifesto and true to our constituents and make sure that we really do deliver for our voters the Brexit deal that we promised.”

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He later told the BBC’s Today programme: “This week things have changed.

“Up until now people have been quite rightly worried about the prospects of no deal but now there is another possibility coming into sight, actually no Brexit.”

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, also said on Friday he still had “hope” of the deal passing in parliament.

“I do not like the prospect of a no-deal, which would be a disaster I think for our British friends and for the continental Europeans.

“And every effort I think needs to be made between now and Tuesday, Tuesday afternoon perhaps, to ensure this important issue can be resolved satisfactorily.”

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The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March by default.

MPs will vote on Tuesday on whether to accept or reject the divorce deal and a non-binding political declaration on the future relationship struck in November.

http://news.sky.com/story/voting-down-brexit-deal-risks-cancelling-brexit-foreign-secretary-11604297

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