Theresa May’s international trade secretary has joined his colleagues in painting a gloomy picture of the derailed Brexit consequences as the government and MPs are at loggerheads over the deal. Liam Fox warned of voter upheaval.
Brexiteer Fox predicted a “political tsunami” among the electorate if rebel MPs continued to hamper the process of leaving the European Union, as advised by voters in the 2016 referendum.
Fox’s warnings of political instability follow a week after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was accused of scaremongering when he suggested that a vote against the government’s Brexit plan could see a rise in far-right extremism.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Fox warned: “Failure to deliver Brexit would produce a yawning gap between Parliament and the people, a schism in our political system with unknowable consequences.”
Dr. Fox also took to the airwaves on Sunday to drum up support for the embattled May, accusing a “remain Parliament” of stealing Brexit from a “leave population.”
“Parliament has not got the right to hijack the Brexit process because Parliament said to the people of this country we make a contract with you, you will make the decision and we will honour it,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show.
Criticism for Fox’s comments came in hard and fast on social media, with Labour MEP Richard Corbett saying May’s Brexit deal didn’t deliver to voters what was promised by the Leave campaign.
Given that it doesn’t deliver the Leave campaign promises, shld’nt they have the right to re-consider? After all, polls show they now disagree…
Or must voters now shutup?
— Richard Corbett (@RCorbettMEP) January 20, 2019
Others debated the role of the government.
Liam Fox says that government is not the servant of parliament…perhaps he’d like to explain why government must seek permission from parliament, on behalf of the people, every year for the money it spends?
***Parliament is sovereign, not government***
— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) January 20, 2019
Parliament does not have the right “to hijack #Brexit and in effect, steal the vote from the people”
– International Trade Sec Liam Fox is spot-on
— Amandeep SinghBhogal (@AmandeepBhogal) January 20, 2019
While some people chose to criticize the actions of both MPs and the government.
Who would want to steal Brexit? It’s the biggest shit show ever, run by the biggest shit show of MPs ever. Sensible people, not just Remainers, want to get rid of this divisive piece of shite.
BBC News – Remainer MPs trying to steal Brexit, says Liam Foxhttps://t.co/vIvjgRnTGi
— Stephen Danton #FBPE (@thetopcaptain) January 20, 2019
@LiamFox If brexit had been the nirvana we were promised, YOU,Davis and Raab should not have had trouble producing a deal that the country could get behind..result…total,unworkable mess..dont blame others for this Govts and brexit shortcomings.https://t.co/YpR89DZ2py
— Anthony Mortlock (@AnthonyMortlock) January 20, 2019
However, May’s Brexit plan was overwhelmingly rejected by both Pro-Remain and Brexiteer MPs in a historic Commons vote on Tuesday. With only 202 votes for, 432 against, it was the largest government defeat in the Parliament’s history.
May is under pressure to secure Parliamentary backing for her deal before the UK is due to leave the EU on March 29, or risk crashing out with no deal.
Yet, UK opposition party leaders have accused May of ignoring their demands and the prime minister decided to hold no more talks on Friday.
Fox’s media offensive comes as two groups of backbenchers make maneuvers to wrestle control from the government over the Brexit process in order to prevent a no-deal scenario by pausing Article 50.
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is the clause triggered by a Parliament vote in 2017, starting the two-year process for a country to negotiate an exit from the EU.
One bill, proposed by a cross-party group including Labour’s Yvette Cooper and former Tory Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, would allow Parliament to vote on extending Article 50, delaying Brexit – possibly forever – if May’s government failed to get a majority of support for a deal by February 26.
Another Article 50 coup, led by MP Dominic Grieves, was also reported in the Sunday Times. The group of Tory Remainer MPs is expected to reveal its plans to suspend the article on Monday.
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