Friday, 18 January, 2019

United Kingdom minister raises possibility of fresh Brexit referendum

Cabinet split laid bare as Leadsom insists managed no-deal Brexit is possible			
				 
   by Metro Reporter 
  Published Cabinet split laid bare as Leadsom insists managed no-deal Brexit is possible by Metro Reporter Published
Theresa Hayes | 23 December, 2018, 21:06

Civil servants have warned that food availability and diet will be affected in the event of a no deal Brexit - an eventuality that the government has stopped referring to as unlikely.

But speaking to the BBC's Political Thinking podcast, Mr Gauke lashed talk of a no deal.

Meanwhile, David Gauke, the justice secretary, posted a picture on Twitter of him with a toy unicorn.

France's minister for European affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, said the possibility of no deal was "not unlikely", adding: "I'm very anxious".

Asked if he could remain in the cabinet if that became the government's policy, he told the BBC's Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast: "I think it would be very hard for me in those circumstances".

'I am conscious that there is a risk of an accidental no deal.

If Mrs May's deal is rejected, the default position is for the United Kingdom to leave in March unless the government seeks to extend the Article 50 negotiating process or Parliament intervenes to stop it happening.

He said: "There's no such thing as a managed no deal, I've repeatedly said a no deal is not credible, it's not viable, it is a political hoax intended only to put pressure on members of this House to back the Prime Minister's deal". "It's not government policy and I myself think it would undermine the biggest democratic exercise ever, where we had a clear majority to leave the European Union".

Later, Ms Leadsom, to the annoyance of opposition MPs, failed to name the precise day for the rescheduled meaningful vote on the PM's Brexit Plan.

"A managed no deal does not necessarily mean there is no withdrawal agreement at all", she said.

People power Amber Rudd told Robert Peston she could see ‘a plausible argument’ for a second referendum
People power Amber Rudd told Robert Peston she could see ‘a plausible argument’ for a second referendum

At a press conference yesterday, Mrs May insisted the Cabinet was focused on the deal.

With the European Union offering little in the way of concessions to win over MPs, an increasing number of politicians are calling for a second referendum - something some of her ministers say could be avoided if the government tested Brexit scenarios in parliamentary votes.

MPs will get the chance to vote on the deal after returning from their Christmas break in January.

The group of MPs are tabling a slew of amendments to key pieces of legislation to try to bind the Government's hands so Britain can not crash out of the bloc.

It has been signed by Nicky Morgan, the Conservative chair of the Treasury committee, Hilary Benn, the Labour chair of the Brexit committee, Rachel Reeves, the Labour chair of the business committee, the Tory former ministers Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles and the former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman.

If passed, it would stop the Government from changing taxes if there is a no deal Brexit without Parliament's explicit consent.

Rates are widely expected to increase further in the coming years, but the timing of any rate hikes remains unclear, with Brexit muddying the waters.

Mrs May has stressed a no-deal Brexit is a possible outcome if her plan is rejected by MPs in January's Commons showdown.

Theresa May has said her cabinet is "collectively focused" on passing her Brexit deal, after a number of her ministers openly floated options if the deal fell through, including a second referendum and a "managed no-deal".