Minister contradicts PM in claiming Brexit cannot be stopped

Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris. Photograph: House of Commons.

Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris. Photograph: House of Commons. - Credit: Archant

Despite warnings from Theresa May we risk 'no Brexit', a Brexit minister has claimed there is no way to stop it.

Chris Heaton-Harris was asked by the Exiting the EU Committee member Peter Grant whether he 'agreed with the prime minister that if the deal is voted down it's possible that Brexit might not happen?'.

Hearton-Harris replied: 'The legislation is set out now, and the fact that we have activated Article 50, I actually still believe we will be leaving the EU on March 29 at 11pm.

'Is there a parliamentary route with which Brexit can be stopped? I do not believe so.'

Grant pressed him again, saying: 'The government has it within its power, should it decide to do so, to ask Parliament for agreement to either unilaterally revoke Article 50 or to ask for an extension in order to avoid the damage of a no-deal.

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'I'm not asking you whether the government intends to do that or whether it's a good idea, but it is the case, isn't it, that the government could ask Parliament for that approval?'

Heaton-Harris replied: 'It's not government policy to do that.'

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Theresa May has repeatedly warned MPs that a failure by the Commons to back her Brexit deal would risk the UK staying in the EU.

Best for Britain champion Virendra Sharma MP said the Brexit minister's words were a 'complete contradiciton'.

He said: 'This government can't even decide amongst themselves how to best scare their backbenchers into voting for the prime minister's deal. While the PM says there is a risk of no Brexit, her ministers say Brexit is now unavoidable.

'Chris Heaton-Harris' words are a complete contradiction to what the prime minister says so often. The government need to get their message straight, at the moment they don't have a clue.

'It's time to put this decision back in the hands of the people, by giving the public the final say on Brexit with the option to stay.'

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