Now the chances of the UK leaving the EU are “50-50’’ if Parliament rejects Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement in January, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said in an interview Sunday.
“If we were not to vote for that, I’m not sure I would give it much more than 50-50,” the veteran campaigner for BREXIT he told the Sunday Times. “For me that would induce a sense that we had betrayed the people that voted in the referendum.”
Secretary Fox told his fellow lawmakers that it was a “matter of honor” to back May and he’d rather accept an agreement that falls short of the ideal than risk BREXIT’s failure.
“For me, the worst possible outcome of this process would be no BREXIT,” he said in the interview.
The vote on the BREXIT deal is set for the week of 14 January, Mrs. May has said, without giving a precise date. The PM pulled a vote on the deal scheduled for earlier this month, acknowledging she did not have the support to win approval.
Mrs. May has sought additional reassurances from the EU that might win the support of her own rebellious Conservative Party lawmakers and her allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which provides the votes to give her a majority in the House of Commons.
Secretary Fox said he would like to see more EU concessions on the so-called Irish backstop, language in the deal meant to avoid the creation of a hard border between Ireland, which remains in the bloc, and Northern Ireland.
The UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out backing a 2nd referendum on leaving the EU, and said the House of Commons should proceed with the vote on PM May’s withdrawal deal.
He also said even if his party won a snap general election in 2019, he would go to Brussels and try to secure a better deal, if possible, in time to allow BREXIT to go ahead on 29 March 2019.
“I think we should vote down this deal; we should then go back to the EU with a discussion about a customs union,” Mr. Corbyn said in an interview published on 22 December.
BREXIT Secretary Stephen Barclay will chair a meeting of ministers earlier in the New Year in order to plan for Britain’s EU departure.
Exiting the EU without a deal would trigger a cut in taxes and interest rates and the return of QE (quantitative easing), according to a survey of economists.
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