UK trade Brexit

Brexit in doubt if MPs reject Theresa May’s deal, says minister

#Brexit special section

The UK could end up staying in the EU if MPs reject Prime Minister Theresa May/’s proposed Brexit deal in January, one of her ministers has warned.

Pro-Brexit international trade secretary Liam Fox says there is a ’50-50 chance’ of the UK remaining if MPs vote down Mrs May’s deal.

He told the Sunday Times that the only way to make Brexit 100 per cent certain was a ‘yes’ vote by MPs in Parliament.

The Commons vote was due to take place on December 11, but was postponed by the Prime Minister when it became clear she was facing a heavy defeat.

It is now due to take place in the week commencing January 14, but the odds are still stacked against Mrs May, with MPs on all sides opposed to her deal.

With MPs on their Christmas break until January 7, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had called on Mrs May to recall Parliament so an earlier vote could be held.

Fox said that if MPs did reject the deal it would ‘shatter the bond of trust between the electorate and Parliament.’

He added: “What you can be sure of is that if we vote for the prime minister’s deal then it’s 100 per cent certain we will leave on March 29.

“If we do not vote for that, I’m not sure I would give it much more than 50-50. That would induce a sense that we had betrayed the people who voted in the referendum.”

He said it was a ‘matter of honour’ for MPs to support Mrs May and get the deal over the line – it can only come into effect with Parliamentary approval.

The Prime Minister has warned that a hard Brexit becomes more likely if her deal is voted down, although opponents say there are other options.

These could include extending the Article 50 negotiation period beyond March 29 and holding a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the UK to ‘get your act together’ today in an interview with a German newspaper.

Speaking to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, he said it was unreasonable for the British public to expect Brussels to solve ‘British problems.’

He dismissed claims that the EU wanted to keep the UK in the EU ‘by all possible means.’

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