Andrea Leadsom insists it is 'not possible' for Parliament to block no-deal Brexit

Posted On: 
11th June 2019

Tory leadership contender Andrea Leadsom has insisted it is "not possible" for Parliament to block a no-deal Brexit.

Andrea Leadsom said MPs would not be able to block a no-deal exit.
Credit: 
PA

Speaking at her campaign launch, the former Commons Leader said MPs would not be able to halt a hard Brexit, despite claims to the contrary by rival candidate Matt Hancock.

Ms Leadsom, who resigned from the Cabinet over Mrs May's Brexit deal, said leaving the bloc by 31 October was a "hard red line" as she pledged to negotiate a "managed exit" with Brussels.

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The Brexiteer MP's plans include securing a "temporary free trade agreement" with EU leaders as well as introducing new legislation on citizen's rights, air traffic agreements and the future security relationship.

But she committed to delivering Brexit by 31 October "in all circumstances" even if MPs rejected her plan.

"I will be honest with the country and say in all circumstances we are leaving the European Union on the 31 October this year," she said.

"Our country and our party cannot afford any more indecisiveness, what I would say is that my managed exit offer sensible measures that sensible politicians both her in Parliament and in the European Union, will, in my opinion, agree to.

"So, I don't think we need to have the choice between no Brexit and no deal, I think a managed exit is the way forward, and it is something I pledge to deliver.

She added: "Having been leader of the Commons over the past two years, it is quite clear to me that there are prodecural ways that Parliament, in the past, has been able to require an extension to Article 50. That would not be the case in the situtation of a managed exit...

"I do not think that Parliament has the ability to prevent us from leaving at the end of October, which is the legal default position."

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Mr Hancock hit out at candidates who had promised to deliver a deal or no-deal exit by Halloween, claiming Parliament would move to block any cliff edge departure.

"We need to solve Brexit and we cannot do it by threatening no-deal," he told the BBC.

"Parliament will not allow a no-deal Brexit to happen."

But Ms Leadsom insisted the current legal status of the Brexit process would make it impossible for MPs to delay the UK's exit.

She said: "I do not believe it is possible for Parliament to prevent a no-deal exit. It is the legal default position and with a Government whose policy is to leave at the end of October in all circumstances, my view is that putting forward sensible measures that Parliament would agree to and which I believe the EU would also find very sensible, that have already been agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement, I think we will have success."