The work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has said she is ‘committed’ to ensuring that the UK does not leave the European Union without a deal.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Rudd three times declined to say whether she would remain a member of the government if it opted for a no-deal Brexit.
Rudd was speaking as MPs prepared for the third day of debate in the House of Commons ahead of the crunch vote on Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, with home secretary Sajid Javid opening proceedings which are expected to be dominated by the issue of migration.
Asked whether she agreed with Cabinet colleague Jeremy Hunt that the UK can thrive after a no-deal Brexit, Rudd told Today: ‘This is a strong and great country, we will find a way to succeed, but I do not think that no deal would be good for this country and I’m committed to making sure we find an alternative.’
Rudd said it was ‘right’ for the government to make preparations for a no-deal Brexit, comparing it to wearing a seatbelt when driving a fast car.
But she said: ‘I intend to work with colleagues to make sure we avoid it. I am committed to getting the best outcome for this country, which is supporting the prime minister’s deal.’
Pressed for a third time by interviewer Justin Webb on whether she would quit if May went for the no-deal option, Rudd cut him short by saying: ‘Thank you very much, Justin.’