U.K. Labour leader agrees no deal Brexit would be 'catastrophic'

Lamar Ellis
January 14, 2019

It came after the Prime Minister warned of a "catastrophic and unforgivable" breach of trust in democracy if her exit plan is defeated and the United Kingdom remains in the EU.

"The country does have a right to know what members of parliament are for, not just what they are against, and it's important that the house comes to a view as to what it can back", Barclay said. According to Bank of England analysts, such a chaotic split could hammer the pound and house prices and plunge Britain into a recession worse than the financial crisis a decade ago.

If they fail to do so, a general election would be called.

If a confidence vote failed, he'd be under pressure to back a second Brexit referendum, which would open deep divisions in the Labour Party, many of whose supporters backed leaving the European Union in 2016.

Meanwhile, two of the biggest donors to the Leave campaign said they believed Brexit would eventually be abandoned by the Government and that the United Kingdom would stay in the EU. Labour says it wants a full, permanent customs union with the EU, something that would appall many pro-Brexit Tories, though senior ministers are now said to be urging May to ask Corbyn for help in the hope of agreeing on a joint plan.

"I think parliament is very committed to try to stop no-deal, but I think we have to recognise that there is a deal on the table, it does broadly deliver the Brexit people voted for, and if we don't find a way to get this through, we are taking some very big risks".

That could open the way for several different outcomes, ranging from a so-called "managed no-deal" exit to another referendum.

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Under the rebels' plan, reported in the Sunday Times, the Government would lose control of parliamentary business which would threaten Brexit legislation and the Government's ability to govern.

"So those on the Brexiteer side seeking ideological purity with a deal are risking Brexit, because there is a growing risk that events could unfold in ways that (mean) they are leaving the door ajar to ways that increase the risk to Brexit".

Speaking ahead of a crucial week for Brexit, the Conservative MP said that "there would be huge uncertainty" about what kind of checks will be required on imports.

Mrs May is expected to lose Commons the vote on her withdrawal deal on Tuesday, raising the prospect of a no-deal departure on March 29.

In a significant shift of tone apparently created to win over hardline Brexiteers who have set their faces against Mrs May's deal, Mr Hunt warned that defeat next week would not necessarily provide MPs with the opportunity to choose their preferred version of Brexit.

The government has made a fresh plea to MPs to get behind the deal.

Mr Hunt suggested that legally binding assurances from Brussels over the deal's controversial backstop arrangements should be enough to allay the fears of many MPs over the long-term impact of the agreement.

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