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Dominic Raab says ministers ‘have the numbers’ in Parliament to pass Brexit deal

Dominic Raab says ministers ‘have the numbers’ in Parliament to pass Brexit deal
3 min read

The Government believes it has the support of enough MPs to pass its Brexit deal in the Commons, Dominic Raab has said.

The Foreign Secretary said from “taking people at their word”, a meaningful vote on the agreement could pass the threshold of 320 MPs needed to begin implementing it.

It comes a day after MPs backed Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment to Boris Johnson’s new Brexit plans, which called for a delay until January 2020 to be requested before any vote on the deal.

The Prime Minister later sent, but refused to sign, a letter calling for the extension, under the terms of the Benn Act, all but scuppering his plans to take Britain out of the EU by 31 October.

Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Government planned to hold another vote tomorrow, although it is the decision of Speaker John Bercow whether it is held.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Raab said: “We’ve actually secured a deal, with the EU, a lot of people said the Prime Minister couldn’t do that, he’s got that, we seem to have the numbers in the House of Commons, why hasn’t Parliament pushed this through, that’s what we’re going to do next week.”

He said that Mr Johnson had “confounded the doubters” by striking a different deal with Brussels to that agreed with Theresa May, adding: “We seem to have the numbers in the House of Commons, we don’t know that but from what people have said, and I take people at their word, and I think a lot of people say, get this done and move on.”

Mr Raab also said ministers would continue to try and win over the support of the DUP, despite the party’s major objections regarding rules on Northern Ireland assembly consent on the province’s future customs policy.

“We believe we’ve got the numbers and we’ll keep talking to the DUP and see if there are further reassurances that can be provided,” he added.

“But we’ve got a good deal for every quarter of the United Kingdom and I think ultimately whether you voted Leave or Remain, and the polling backs this up, the people just think get on with it, let’s get this done and move on.”

Meanwhile Michael Gove told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday that he was “confident” that the Government could pass its deal and take Britain out of the EU by the 31 October deadline.

"I am confident that with the support of good people, with whom we may have disagreed in the past, but who respect democracy, we will get this deal done," he said.

The Cabinet Office minister also took a swipe at the so-called Letwin amendment, which he said had “increased” the chances of no-deal, since there was no guarantee that the EU would accept the request.

“The risk of leaving without a deal has actually increased, because we cannot guarantee that the European Council will grant an extension, and that is why I will later today be chairing a cabinet committee meeting, extraordinarily on a Sunday in order to ensure that the next stage of our exit preparations and our preparedness for no deal is accelerated.”

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