Brexit: Labour MP reveals ‘best chance’ of stopping no deal
The Prime Minister submitted his new plan to the EU with an aim of prevent Northern Ireland becoming a “back door” into the EU’s single market and customs union without bringing in border controls that could undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. But the European Union and Ireland said the proposals were unlikely to result in a deal without more concessions. And Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay appeared to confirm this week that the Government would send a letter to the EU requesting a Brexit delay if a deal has not been agreed by October 19, after Government lawyers told Scotland’s highest civil court that Mr Johnson accepted the commitment.
Mr Hannan said there must be a general election if there is a delay to Brexit, but this could spell bad news for the EU as it could mean the UK will have more power to walk away from a bad deal.
He wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “If those MPs succeed in forcing a delay, a general election must follow.
“Boris will go into the campaign as the party leader who did everything possible to get a fair and balanced deal.
“When the election comes, Boris will win – and win with a decent working majority.
Boris Johnson could win a general election, it has been claimed
“For the first time since 2017, Britain will then have a Parliament prepared to walk away from a bad deal – the prerequisite for any negotiation.
“At that stage, Dublin and Brussels may find themselves wishing they had accepted Boris’s earlier offer.”
Mr Hannan added Mr Johnson’s deal is “reasonable” and the EU’s hesitancy over accepting it shows how “dishonest” the bloc has been over Brexit.
He said: “Leave voters are not dim. If Brexit is blocked, they will blame the politicians blocking it, not the politicians trying to deliver it.
The Prime Minister has not convinced Ireland and the EU with his new plan
“Indeed, what has really changed over the past 72 hours is that Boris has put himself visibly on the moral high ground.
“Not only Leavers, but many Remainers, recognise that he is seeking a moderate deal, which would allow Britain to leave in an orderly way while respecting the interests of its neighbours.
“They can see that, where Boris is being reasonable and emollient, the EU’s response has been dismissive and dishonest.
“Britain’s proposals addressed all the other side’s stated demands.
“Boris was prepared to make difficult and generous concessions for the sake of reaching a deal, including treating Northern Ireland differently to Great Britain, accepting a measure of EU regulation and handing over an exit fee that no international tribunal would uphold. But Brussels is not interested in agreement; it wants capitulation.”
Meanwhile, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said today delivering Brexit on October 31 was the “sole focus” of ministers.
This is because the government has “no plan” for what might happen if Parliament blocks the UK from the leaving the EU at the end of the month.
Mr Jenrick told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Boris Johnson and this Government will do absolutely everything in our power to deliver Brexit on October 31.
The Prime Minister said he wants to leave with a deal
“But we have no plan as to what might happen if Parliament doesn’t allow us to get Brexit done on October 31 because we intend to get it done on that date and that’s the sole focus of this Government at the moment.”
Labour’s Lisa Nandy, who represents Leave-backing Wigan, said that while she could support a deal, the “problem is at the moment, we don’t have a deal”.
She told Sky: “What we’ve got is a proposal which stands virtually no chance of being accepted by the EU which creates two borders on the island of Ireland which is completely incompatible with existing international law and which rips up the workers’ rights and protections and the environmental protections that we spent several months at the start of this year negotiating with the former prime minister.
“I would vote for a deal, but this is not a deal.
“This is a pre-election party-political broadcast from the Prime Minister, and the truth is that for all of the talk about getting Brexit done, we are further away from achieving a deal than we were two months ago when he became Prime Minister.”