Grayling: I'm not entirely satisfied with PM's Brexit deal
PUBLISHED: 09:33 13 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:25 13 January 2019
The Brexit deal MPs will vote on next week is a compromise deal that not everyone will be happy with, a leading Brexiteer member of the cabinet has admitted.
Arch Brexiteer Chris Grayling insisted the deal prime minister Theresa May is putting to the House of Commons is a “sensible compromise” but said it is “not giving people everything they wanted”.
Asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday whether even he was entirely satisfied with the deal despite the fact he is campaigning for it, he replied: “Of course not. The prime minister has said herself that this is not the perfect deal.”
But he claimed that had he been offered the current deal before the referendum in 2016, he would have gladly taken it.
Theresa May looks likely to lose Tuesday’s upcoming parliamentary vote to ratify her Brexit deal.
Grayling dodged questions on whether there is a plan B should the vote be lost, saying: “My focus is on convincing people this is the best thing to do.”
This weekend the transport secretary was accused of engaging in “gutter politics” after he said that stopping Brexit would “open the door” to “extremist” forces in the UK.
Grayling said putting a stop to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU may end centuries of “moderate” politics the UK has enjoyed since the English Civil War as he urged his Conservative colleagues to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
The Brexiteer told the Daily Mail the millions who voted for Brexit would feel “cheated” if the UK did not exit the EU.
However he seemed to Sophy Ridge suggest he had been misquoted, saying: “I’m concerned we will see the kind of populist politics that we’ve seen in other European countries and I don’t want to see that happen in this country.”
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The beleaguered transport secretary also defended a decision to award a £13.8m contract for no-deal Brexit ferry services to a company with no ships, claiming it was just part of a plan to ensure trade passes smoothly through the ports of Dover and Calais.