Tory calls for People’s Vote or election to break Brexit stalemate

Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has ca

Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has called for further negotations with the EU Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A prominent Conservative MP has called for a second referendum or a general election if a Withdrawal Agreement cannot be struck with the EU.

And chairman of the Commons Culture Committee Damian Collins said he would not back Theresa May's current deal when it is voted on in the House.

He added that he wanted to the government to push for further negotiations to ensure the deal gives the UK the right to decide independently when it wants to leave a transition or backstop arrangement.

READ: Who are the 24 MPs seeking to overthrow Theresa May?

The comments came as May prepared to jet to Brussels for talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

Collins also said that if MPs cannot agree on a withdrawal deal, an election or second referendum should be called before March 29 to allow voters to decide whether they want to go ahead with a no-deal Brexit.

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'If we couldn't get an agreement and we were stuck in a situation where it was a deal we don't want or the cliff-edge... I don't think as parliament we could just stand back and watch the country fall off the edge of a cliff without asking the people whether that was the step they wanted to take,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Confirming he will vote against May's current offer, Collins added: 'I don't accept that this is a deal we have to accept or face the cliff-edge.

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'We would be in this deal in a situation, I believe, worse than the one we are in now and something no-one voted for, where we would be bound to abide by all the European rules and locked into a system we can't independently leave.'

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