Brexit minister turns down bet on UK leaving EU on 29 March 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:01 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:01 09 May 2018

Pro-EU protesters taking part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit. Photograph: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.

Pro-EU protesters taking part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit. Photograph: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.

Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

A Labour peer has offered a government minister a bet that the UK won’t leave the EU on the designated exit day outlined by Theresa May.

Labour’s Lord Foulkes of Cumnock said he was prepared to put at least £10 on this outcome and challenged the government’s Brexit minister Lord Callanan to take up the bet.

But Lord Callanan turned down the offer at question time, saying he was not sure Lords’ rules allowed “gambling across the floor”.

Under Brexit legislation, exit day is currently defined as March 29 2019 at 11pm - although that date is now under debate following a defeat on the legislation in the House of Lords.

Lord Foulkes said: “I’m certain that we are not going to be leaving the EU. Last week we had some questions on the dangers of gambling.

“But I’m prepared to put a wager on with the minister of at least £10 - I’m generous and a Scotsman - that by the date designated for exiting we won’t be leaving the EU.”

“Will you take on that bet?” he demanded, to laughter from all sides of the House.

Lord Callanan said: “I’m not sure of the rules of the House whether they permit gambling exchanges across the floor, so I’m probably better off not answering that question, in case I get into trouble with the House authorities.”

Yesterday peers inflicted another three major defeats on the government.

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