Minister warns no-deal Brexit ‘simply not an option’ amid global security threats

Posted On: 
24th December 2018

Leaving the European Union without a deal is “not an option” given the threat it would pose to Britain’s security, a minister has warned.

Tobias Ellwood and Theresa May
PA Images

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said crashing out of the bloc would have “profound reputational consequences” for the UK, while threatening its “soft power”.

The latest frontbencher to distance themselves from the scenario said it would see Britain’s access to dozens of major international security programmes reduced while critical intelligence would “halt until new arrangements are in place.”

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“We would immediately reduce our ability to tackle threats from terrorism to cybercrime, modern slavery to fraud,” he wrote in The Times.

“Departing from the EU with no deal would have profound reputational consequences; for example, prompting potential trading partners to think twice before engaging with us,” he added.

“A no-deal would damage our soft power at the very time threats to the world order on multiple fronts require strong nations to defend the international rule book.

“To deliberately pursue no deal over the government’s deal would be an act of folly. No deal is simply not an option."

The stark warning comes a day after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom told MPs that a no-deal Brexit will become the “default position” if they fail to back Theresa May's deal.

Justice Secretary David Gauke last week suggested he would resign from the government, while former ministers Nick Boles and Anna Soubry, have warned they would give up the Tory whip if they party accepted no-deal as its official policy.

The paper says dozens of ministers, including at least four Cabinet members could quit if Mrs May moves towards a no-deal outcome were her deal to fall at the Commons meaningful vote next month.