Britain will have its 'Trump moment' if we don't leave the EU, says former Brexit secretary

PUBLISHED: 12:10 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 10 March 2019

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

2018 Getty Images

David 'democracy can change its mind' Davis brought a hefty dose of selective outrage to the Brexit debate today..

On BBC’s Andrew Marr show today, Mr Davis said any decision not to leave the EU would be a “democratic disaster”.

Expanding on that, he said: “Britain would get its Trump moment.

“What happens is that the British people who voted for this, and a large number of remainers who didn’t vote for it, but still think it should be carried through because they believe in democracy, will see a government walking away - a parliament walking away from a question that they themselves put to the people.

“Now that will absolutely undermine belief in democracy in this country, and certainly belief in the established political parties.”

Nonetheless, he doesn’t plan to vote for Theresa May’s deal on Tuesday, calling it “absolutely dreadful”.

Mr Davis’ concern for the state of British democracy has evolved enormously since 2016, when he was entirely more sanguine about the £350million lie plastered on the side of a Vote Leave bus.

The Independent reported him saying: “Look, could anyone tell me a general election in which everything said was capable of being repeated on oath? Answer: no, never.”

Indeed, back in 2012, he said: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy,” in a speech to the EU.

Going further back, in 2002, he addressed parliament about the principles aboutreferenda, saying reassuringly: “Referendums should be held when the electorate are in the best possible position to make a judgment ... We should not ask people to vote on a blank sheet of paper and tell them to trust us to fill in the details afterwards.”

More to the point, though, he added today that any failure to leave the EU would “massively damage” the Tory party.

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