Ken Clarke: Theresa May’s government has no idea how to carry out Brexit

Posted On: 
29th September 2016

No one in Government has the first idea what they are doing over Brexit, Tory grandee Ken Clarke has claimed in a withering attack on Theresa May’s administration.

Former chancellor Ken Clarke
PA Images

The former chancellor said the Prime Minister was overseeing a “government with no policies” and no plan on how to carry out Britain’s exit from the European Union.

He also became the first Conservative MP to publicly state he would vote against Brexit in the House of Commons.

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In an interview with the New Statesman, Mr Clarke said: “Nobody in the Government has the first idea of what they’re going to do next on the Brexit front.”

Mr Clarke also took aim at Cabinet Ministers Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, claiming they lacked ideas.

He added: “Whatever is negotiated will be denounced by the ultra-Eurosceptics as a betrayal… Theresa May has had the misfortune of taking over at the most impossible time. She faces an appalling problem of trying to get these ‘Three Brexiteers’ to agree.”

The former minister, a staunch backer of the Remain campaign, went on to say he would vote against leaving the European Union, should the opportunity fall before MPs.

“The idea that I’m suddenly going to change my lifelong opinions about the national interest and regard myself as instructed to vote in parliament on the basis of an opinion poll is laughable,” he said.

Mr Clarke predicted that David Cameron’s decision to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU meant he would now “go down in history as the man who made the mistake of taking us out of the European Union”.

In an interview with the Spectator, Dr Fox said the Government was taking a “methodical” approach to Brexit.

“It’s not a question of everyone having a say, it’s everyone being in the debate,” he said.

He also defended arguing that some businesses in Britain have become too fat and lazy to pursue export opportunities.

“As a country, we have become too easy with the idea that the world owes us a living,” he said. “The European Union is in terrible shape. The architecture is beginning to peel away.

“It’s going to sacrifice at least one generation of young Europeans on the altar of the single currency, and you can only rip out the social fabric from so much of Europe before it starts imploding. And with Britain out of it, they’re still going to have to confront exactly the same problems.”