Michael Gove warns rebel MPs ‘winter is coming’ if they fail to back Theresa May’s Brexit plan
Michael Gove warned MPs seeking to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal that “winter is coming” if they fail to back her tonight.
The Cabinet minister quoted lines from hit TV series Game of Thrones in a bid to warn MPs off inflicting a crushing defeat on the Prime Minister's EU agreement when it is put to a vote later today.
In an interview on the BBC’s Today programme, Mr Gove told MPs that democracy would be "damaged" if they failed to swing behind Mrs May’s plan.
He said: "I think if we don’t vote for the deal tonight, I think in the words of Jon Snow, ‘winter is coming’. I think if we don’t vote for the deal tonight we will do damage to our democracy by saying to people we are not going to implement Brexit."
The motto is used in the HBO series to warn of the approach of a horde of killer ghouls that carry out a massacre on the civilian population.
The Environment Secretary said: "The real danger is that if people do not vote for the government this evening we face either a no-deal Brexit with the short-term economic damage that would bring, or worse no Brexit at all.
“We know there are people in the House of Commons and outside who have never made their peace with the decision, who want to overturn it.”
Mr Gove, who has previously suggested the deal secured by Mrs May was “imperfect”, argued that the Prime Minister had in fact secured a “glistening bowl of cherries” from the EU as he pushed back against criticism of the contentious Northern Ireland backstop.
He said: “Continually, people have said that the backstop is a vice. Yes - but it is a vice which we can tighten around the European Union. That is an underappreciated point.
“I’ve said many times before that [the deal] is not perfect… You have to vote for this deal, because this is the door through which we can walk to ensure we are outside the European Union and we can determine our future.”
It is not the first time Mr Gove has referenced Game of Thrones.
In November, the Environment Secretary sparked confusion when he tweeted out the results of an internet personality quiz to decide which character from the show he was most like - revealing that he most resembled Tyrion Lannister, a politically-cunning dwarf.
And in 2014, the ardent-Brexiteer shared his admiration for the character, saying: "The moment I love the most was when he leads what is apparently a hopeless charge of his troops in defence of King’s Landing, against the forces of Stannis Baratheon, and you see there that this misshapen dwarf, reviled throughout his life, thought in the eyes of some to be a toxic figure, can at last rally a small band of loyal followers."