Chance of MPs refusing to back the PM’s Brexit deal is ’30 per cent’
Chance of MPs refusing to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal is ’30 per cent and growing’, claims Nick Clegg
- Mrs May is also facing strong opposition from hardline Tory Brexiteers
- Lib Dem leader said there will be a coalition of MPs for a host of different reasons
- Mr Clegg described the negotiations made by the PM as a ‘tragic irony’
There is an increasing chance that MPs will reject a Brexit deal brokered by Theresa May over the next six months, according to Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.
The chances of Parliament voting against the Government’s Brexit proposals is 25-30% and growing, with a catastrophic no-deal by far the least likely outcome, Mr Clegg has said.
Mr Clegg highlighted that the most likely scenario between now and March 29 would be that the Prime Minister manages to ‘wangle’ a ‘pig in a poke’-style Brexit agreement through Parliament.
Nick Clegg said there is an increasing chance that MPs will reject a Brexit deal brokered by Theresa May
He said: ‘However, the chances are growing – I don’t know, I’m not a betting man, 25-30% and growing – that there will be a coalition of MPs for a whole range of different reasons who will basically say ‘no thanks’.
‘That will then provoke turmoil and a stand-off in British politics, which in my view, would then allow us the opportunity to push the pause button, to think again.
‘But I think the most likely outcome, if you ask me right now, is that this sort of potpourri of verbiage and platitudes about the future and specific agreements about money, EU citizens and the Irish border will probably on balance win the day.’
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Mr Clegg was responding to questions from attendees of the Open Future Festival, organised by the Economist, on Saturday.
This comes as shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour was unlikely to back any deal, as she could not see the PM coming back from Brussels having met the six tests set by the party.
Meanwhile Mrs May is also facing strong opposition from hardline Tory Brexiteers, and without support from at least some opposition MPs, the Government may struggle to get any agreement through Parliament.
Theresa May is also facing strong opposition from hardline Tory Brexiteers
Mr Clegg said it was a tragic irony that efforts were being focused on warning of the catastrophic consequences of failing to reach an agreement.
He said: ‘A catastrophic no-deal… is by far the least likely outcome.
‘Does anyone seriously think we are going to have three months of outright emergency, three months where nothing’s going to happen, we’re just going to topple over a cliff? Of course not.’
‘Time is infinitely lasting in these negotiations,’ he added.
Downing Street is hoping that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit will force critics to fall in line behind the Chequers plan.
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