Parliament will find a way to stop a no-deal Brexit if the next prime minister tries to force one through, a senior cabinet minister has said, The Independent reports.
David Gauke, the justice secretary, predicted “a way will be found” to stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, given a majority of members of Parliament are opposed to such an outcome.
It is unclear whether the House of Commons has the power to force the government to avoid no-deal, but Gauke said he thought MPs would find “other mechanisms” to stop it from happening.
He also criticized leading prime minister candidate Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy and called on the former foreign secretary to rule out suspending parliament, saying such a move would be a “constitutional outrage.”
Gauke is a vocal opponent of a no-deal Brexit and is likely to be moved out of the cabinet if Johnson is elected as prime minister. The current Tory leadership front-runner has said he only wants cabinet ministers who would be willing to deliver no deal.
On whether MPs would be able to stop Britain crashing out of the EU, Gauke told The House magazine: “If I was to speculate on it, given that we have an activist speaker, given that there is a parliamentary majority against no deal, a way will be found.”
“Then that leaves the question of well, what would the new prime minister do in those circumstances. Would he try to resolve this by changing parliament? In other words, by having a general election. But the idea of a general election before we have resolved Brexit is extremely risky for the Conservative Party.” – David Gauke
“That is a very difficult choice, particularly if your language has been so strong about we will definitely do or die have left the European Union on 31 October,” he added.
A number of current ministers are expected to return to the backbenches once the new leader takes over and are likely to vote against any plan to take Britain out of the EU without a deal, if parliament is given the opportunity to do so.
Gauke said “quite a lot of ministers” shared his view that no deal would “inflict very considerable pain on a lot of our fellow citizens” and would “completely destroy the economic credibility of the Conservative Party.”
Some Tory MPs are so opposed to no deal that they are thought to be prepared to vote against a Conservative government in a no-confidence vote to stop it, but Gauke said he would not be among them.
He said: “I think the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister is one that chills me even more than a no-deal Brexit. It seems to me supporting a no-confidence motion leads to a Corbyn government. But I do think that parliament will find other mechanisms to try to stop this from happening.”
WN.com, Jim Berrie
Yet another great @sebwhale interview for @theHouse_mag. David Gauke says that with John Bercow’s help, MPs will “f… https://t.co/PDZBayGIDr
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