Tory leadership contest’s only Remainer calls no-deal Brexit an ‘abject failure’
- Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Conservative leadership candidate Sam Gyimah has called a no-deal Brexit an 'abject failure', outlining how he'd bring a second referendum if a deal can't be agreed in parliament.
The former minister and MP for East Surrey said the new prime minister should be given a "final chance to succeed where Theresa May failed" at getting a deal through.
But failing that, he would get the ball rolling on the process of a second referendum - with the options of a no-deal Brexit, a revised deal or staying in the European Union.
"A no-deal Brexit is an abject failure and it is not supported by 70% of the electorate," he told Channel 4 News.
He has said that without a public vote on the matter, a no-deal Brexit would be a "cowardly abdication of responsibility" and would be "running away from the most difficult issues".
You may also want to watch:
While rivals such as Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab have pledged to leave the EU on October 31 even without a deal, Gyimah said he would seek an extension to the deadline to allow a referendum to be held.
"However, this cannot be an open-ended process, with multiple requested extensions of Article 50," he added, saying this would further undermine public trust.
- 1 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 2 The Spanish village with the mythical blue lagoon
- 3 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 4 The Prime Minister is out of his league
- 5 Rabbits defeat French army
- 6 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 7 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 8 Ed Vaizey overtakes Paul Dacre in the Ofcom race
- 9 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 10 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
"The world won't wait for Westminster, no matter how loudly we shout, and no matter how damaging a prolonged Brexit process is for Britain," he said.
"That is why I propose that a Plan B runs in parallel with any renegotiations, so as to limit the amount of time that can be spent on these negotiations, to reassure our European colleagues that we have a credible, definitive and deliverable way forward."
On entering a crowded race as an outsider, Gyimah told Channel 4 News that he had joined the throng because "there is a very narrow range of views".
READ: Sam Gyimah enters Tory leadership race to represent the Remain cause"If we are going to have this debate in the interest of the country, then it's got to be the widest possible debate, it's got to be honest about the choices we face, and it's got to be robust."
Gyimah resigned as a minister in 2018 over Theresa May's Brexit deal, saying it was a deal "in name only" and left far too much unresolved.
Early in 2019, he co-founded the pro-second referendum group Right To Vote, which includes Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston, and Anna Soubry, all of whom would a month later defect from the Tories to co-form the Independent Group/Change UK.
Outside his Brexit stance, the MP has pledged to cut taxes for middle and high income earners as well as a reform of business rates.
His reforms have been described as "Thatcherite" by City AM, who reported that he would exempt all business investment from taxation, scrap stamp duty on homes worth less than a million, and to allow those earning £100K or more to keep the tax allowance on the first £12,500 they are paid.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.