Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

Ministers: We WILL call an election if MPs force us into a soft Brexit

We WILL call a general election if MPs force us into a soft Brexit, claim ministers – even though only 12 PER CENT of the public wants another one

  • Cabinet today understood to have discussed the idea of an election
  • They could move if MPs try to seize control this week and force a soft Brexit  
  • Liam Fox warned of MPs releasing ‘a torrent of pent-up frustration’ among voters
  • Opinium survey found little more than one in 10 Britons want a General Election
  • e-mail



The Government today discussed forcing a General Election if MPs try to seize control of Brexit and make it softer than Theresa May’s deal.

Ministers including Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay are said to have raised the prospect at Cabinet this morning ahead of a Parliamentary votes this evening to wrestle control of the withdrawal process.

The Commons will tonight vote on a series of amendments to a Government motion that would pave the way to so-called indicative votes taking place on Wednesday.

These would allow MPs to show what sort of Brexit they wish to push through if a majority cannot be found for Mrs May’s twice-defeated deal.

The talk of forcing a General Election come despite an Opinium poll from two months ago finding that only 12 per cent of Britons would welcome another one, just two years after the last resulted in a hung Parliament. 

Mr Barclay reportedly repeated at Cabinet today warnings he gave on television yesterday.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show he said that if the Commons took control of the order paper and votes for a different outcome, it would ‘potentially collide with fundamental commitments the Government has given in their manifesto’, though he said the vote itself would ‘not be binding’.

Explaining the scenario, he said: ‘What Parliament has done is vote for a number of contradictory things so we would need to untangle that but ultimately, at its logical conclusion, the risk of a general election increases because you potentially have a situation where Parliament is instructing the executive to do something that is counter to what it was elected to do.’

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay leaving Downing Street with Theresa May today after cabinet, at which he is said to have again floated the idea of holding a General Election

  • May SHELVES third vote on her deal due to ‘lack of support’… Brexiteer, 31, who yelled ‘respect the vote’ and hurled an…

Share this article

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox this morning gave a stark warning to MPs, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today: ‘I was elected, as 80 per cent of members were, to respect the referendum and leave the European Union. 

‘I was also elected on a manifesto that specifically said no single market and no customs union. 

 ‘That, for Conservative MPs who are honouring the manifesto, limits their room for manoeuvre. 

The former hardline Brexiteer turned May loyalist added that the prospect of a longer Brexit delay meaning participation in May’s European Elections would ‘unleash a torrent of pent-up frustration from voters’.    

‘I’m not sure that there are many people in the House of Commons who would fancy that particular meeting with voters,’ he said.

‘It would unleash a torrent of pent-up frustration from voters and I think that the major parties will do what they can to avoid having to fight those European elections.

‘There is nothing in politics like a little bit of self-interest to concentrate the minds, and I think, as we get towards that date, increasingly my colleagues will have to decide which of the limited options they want to follow.’

Liam Fox today warned that delaying Brexitand participation in May’s European Elections would ‘unleash a torrent of pent-up frustration from voters’

He urged MPs to back Mrs May’s deal, warning: ‘For a lot of my colleagues, I think they still believe there is a route to no deal. I have come to the conclusion some time ago that was unlikely given the House of Commons that we have.

‘I think we will see today that there is a mood in the House of Commons to stop us leaving without a deal, even if that means no Brexit. I think that is a constitutionally disastrous position.’  

Theresa May today shelved plans for a third vote on her Brexit deal because of a lack of support in the Commons after the DUP and Brexiteers refused the Prime Minister’s plea for help. 

 She told the Commons: ‘It is with great regret that I have to conclude that as things stand there is still not sufficient support in the House to bring back the deal for a third meaningful vote. I continue to have discussions to build support so that we can bring the vote forward this week and guarantee Brexit.’ 

And in an attempt to repair the damage done to relations with MPs by her Downing Street statement last week, she said: ‘I expressed my frustration with our collective failure to take a decision. But I know that many members across this House are frustrated too and we all have difficult jobs to do’. 

Mrs May also told the Commons that the Government will oppose Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment tonight paving the way for indicative votes on Brexit.

Theresa May has admitted in the Commons today that No Deal will not happen without Parliament saying so – but insists that her deal is the best deal even though she doesn’t have the support to bring it back for a third time

Theresa May delivers a statement in the Commons today as she ruled out a third vote on her deal because of a lack of support

But she admitted that if it fails ministers will provide their own mechanism for these to take place, which will delight remainers pushing for a softer Brexit or no Brexit at all.

And in a move that will infuriate Brexiteers the Prime Minister admitted: ‘Unless this house agrees to it, No Deal will not happen’ – but insisted it is still the ‘default’ if MPs continue to block her EU divorce.

After ruling out a third vote on her deal Theresa May told MPs she could not guarantee that she would commit to implementing anything they voted for in an indicative process because they could involve an ‘outcome that is un-negotiable with the EU’.

She added: ‘No government could give a blank cheque to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is. So I cannot commit the Government to delivering the outcome of any votes held by this House, but I do commit to engaging constructively with this process’.

These are the seven options for Brexit MPs could vote on this week if Mrs May is forced towards a softer Brexit



The Commons is set to hold a series of indicative votes on Brexit alternatives this week, most likely on Wednesday. The alternatives include a softer Brexit, a second referendum or leaving with No Deal. If one commands a majority, MPs will try to pressure Theresa May into adopting that option. But there is no binding way of making her do so.


May is likely to try and pass her Brexit deal a third time, after the EU offered a Brexit date of 22 May if she does so this week. The Prime Minister will use threats that MPs will take control and force a softer Brexit in an attempt to force Brexiteer rebels to finally back her. She may also offer them a date when she will quit in return for their support. Thursday is the most likely day for her vote, but there is a chance she won’t hold it if she does not believe she’ll win.


If the PM loses a third vote on her deal, MPs and Remainer Cabinet ministers will try and force her towards a softer Brexit. Brexiteer MPs and Cabinet minister will conversely try and push her towards a No Deal exit from the EU. The most likely outcomes are:  


Theresa May is under no obligation to accept MPs favoured option for Brexit, and could take Britain out the EU without a deal on 12 April. She could remain as Prime Minister under this option.  


MPs could try and force May to negotiate a softer Brexit, but this will provoke outrage from Brexiteers. It does not necessarily mean a delay beyond a few months because Britain could still leave the EU under the withdrawal arrangement.   


IF MPs vote for a second referendum either on May’s deal or a range of options, it is likely to mean a lengthy delay to Brexit. May has indicated she will step down if Brexit is delayed beyond June 30.

Source: Read Full Article

Related Posts