Brexit: Labour launches cross-party motion to block no deal

13 Juin, 2019, 01:07 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Boris Johnson

Ten Tories, including Ken Clarke, Sir Oliver Letwin, Justine Greening and Dominic Grieve, supported the motion but eight Labour MPs voted against.

"It will introduce a safety valve in the Brexit process and it will be a reminder to all Conservative leadership candidates that this house will take every step necessary to prevent a no deal".

"If the next prime minister is foolish enough to try to pursue a no-deal Brexit without gaining the consent of this house, or to try to prorogue parliament in order to force through no deal, then parliament will have the means to prevent that", he told MPs.

"He has been around in politics for a while, he has achieved a lot, he has still got a big role to play, but I think if we are trying to connect with the next generation and move forward as a country, then I think it is time for the next generation with a bold new agenda".

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, has urged MPs to back cross-party efforts to give parliament time to block no deal, calling it a "safety valve" so MPs can begin legislation to stop a new prime minister suspending parliament. "I think it will be very hard for friends in Parliament to obstruct the will of the people and simply to block Brexit", Mr Johnson said.

The former foreign secretary insisted that it is essential that Britain finally leaves the European Union at the end of October to prevent the mood of "disillusion, even despair" in the country from spreading.

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip said he is "not aiming for a no-deal outcome", but leaving the scenario on the table was a "vital tool of negotiation" and the United Kingdom "must do better than the current withdrawal agreement".

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He insisted he was not aiming for no-deal, but said the Government had to show it was serious about leaving if it was to stand any chance of securing concessions from the EU.

"I don't think it's sensible for candidates to box themselves into a corner on this", he said.

"It is only if we have the guts and the courage to get ready for it (no-deal) that we will carry any conviction in Brussels to get the deal that we need", he said. "I don't think it will be in our national interest that we drive towards this cliff-edge at speed".

"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".

Mr Johnson, who is the clear front-runner in the leadership race, had to fend off a series of reporters' questions about his past character and record in office.

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

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