Government minister's refusal to give answer on Article 50 leaves Martin Lewis unhappy

PUBLISHED: 14:51 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:39 23 January 2019

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis appears on BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis appears on BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.


Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has been left frustrated by a government minister's failure to answer a simple question on Brexit.

Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, was asked numerous times on the BBC’s Politics Live programme whether the government would commit to revoking or extending Article 50.

Lewis was a panellist on the programme as it discussed whether MPs could successfully manage to stop a no deal Brexit, and whether Article 50 would be delayed.

He told the minister: “You guys who sit in parliament need to stop playing the games and realise you haven’t done the job in that time and whatever happens you need to move that date back.”

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Skidmore, however, continued to deflect the question.

He explained: “I am here to provide reassurance that no deal legislation that is going through the Commons is on track, and we are taking that forward.”

He accused MPs like Yvette Cooper and Dominic Grieve of playing the games and “turning on their consistuents and saying they know best”.

Pressed further by Martin Lewis if he would accept the extension of Article 50, the minister said: “I just do not know if it is possible.”

By now Lewis was becoming frustrated by the refusal to answer a straight-forward question.

“I struggle to understand how we can come up with something good in six weeks when it took us two years and we didn’t manage to do it.

“I understand your point that we need EU agreement or EU member state agreement but one suspects if the British government and Members of Parliament said we need more time that would be a very strong way to persuade the EU.

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“Would you support - ignore the plausibility - the extension not the revoking of Article 50 for another six months to get this right to avoid a no deal?”

The two entered a spat as the minister still would not give a yes or no answer. Lewis said his failure to answer was why people get fed up with politicians.

“I think that’s an open question... We’ve been very clear,” he continued.

Lewis snapped back: “You’ve been clear at all, I’ve asked a question... two answers yes or no!”

As Skidmore continued to give an adequate reply Lewis throws up his papers in the air in exasperation.

The programme then cut to Brussels where the BBC’s political correspondent was based to give his verdict on what happened next.

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