British PM warns of "catastrophe" in last minute plea for Brexit deal

Frederick Owens
January 13, 2019

However, his priority is to force a national election and he said he would propose a vote of confidence in the government "soon" if May loses on Tuesday. He urged both pro-Remain and "hard Brexit" party colleagues to drop their "political game-playing" and row in behind Theresa May's deal.

'If not, we risk a break with the British tradition of moderate, mainstream politics that goes back to the Restoration in 1660. "We ignore that and the will of the people at our peril".

Failure to deliver Brexit would be "incredibly damaging" for democracy and something the United Kingdom would regret for "many, many generations", he said.

Grayling has been accused of government fear-mongering from all corners of Westminster since his comments, with Labour MP David Lammy calling the use of a minority far-right threat as "gutter politics".

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "Chris Grayling has lost the plot".

"This kind of scaremongering is not only unsafe, but it is embarrassing", wrote the Lib Dems Brexit spokesperson Tim Blake.

Asked whether MPs could bring forward legislation to revoke Article 50, Cable told BBC TV: "Yes that is exactly what will happen and that is exactly what we should be doing because it would be absolutely outrageous and unforgivable if the chaotic circumstances of a no deal were allowed to happen".

Warning that there may be no consensus in the Commons around any possible outcome, the foreign secretary told Today: "If this deal is rejected, ultimately what we may end up with is not a different type of Brexit but Brexit paralysis".

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"I'm sure it will create feeling of unrest with people in all parts of the United Kingdom who didn't want to see us leave the European Union".

Meanwhile, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said she is "committed" to ensuring that the United Kingdom does not leave without a deal.

"My own view is I'd rather get a negotiated deal now if we can to stop the danger of a no deal exit from the European Union on the 29th March, which would be catastrophic for industry, catastrophic for trade and the long-term effects of that would be huge", Corbyn told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

Billionaire businessman Peter Hargreaves, who pumped more than £3 million into the exit campaign, told Reuters: "I have totally given up".

"But unfortunately, for whatever reasons of his own design, we're somewhat vague as to what Jeremy Corbyn now believes about what should happen with Brexit".

It was not possible for the minority Tory administration to control what happened in parliament, and Speaker John Bercow had shown that he was "willing to frustrate the government at every opportunity", he said.

They attributed a lack of direction from Brexiteers as one of the reasons for their pessimism.

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