Militant Tory demands May creates a 'minister for Hard Brexit'

Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh

A senior Conservative MP demands Theresa May appoints a 'minister for Hard Brexit' to her team as he claims she had "promised".

Former minister Sir Edward Leigh told the House of Commons the role was promised before the reshuffle and asked whether or not such a minister would respond to questions when key Brexit legislation returns next week.

Speculation emerged before the frontbench changes that Theresa May could hire a minister for a "no-deal" Brexit, although the title did not materialise.

Sir Edward said: "The best way to get a good deal with the EU is to make clear to them we're prepared for no deal.

"So when we have this debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill next week, will we have the minister for Hard Brexit in the chamber - as we were promised before the reshuffle - so we can question him or her, and if not, why not?"

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Government whip Paul Maynard, standing in for Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom at Business Statement, replied: "I'm sure we will have a range of dedicated ministers across a number of departments focused on making a success of our leaving of the EU."

MPs will consider the Bill further on January 16 and 17. The measures seek to transfer European law into British law.

Sir Edward has previously demanded the government take its share of the EU's wine and art when Britain leaves.

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