Grieve pledges to bring down British Government to stop no deal Brexit – 'Won't hesitate'
Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has long been an outspoken opposer of plans for a no deal Brexit and reiterated his criticism for the proposal as he put his Tory membership on the line on Wednesday. Mr Grieve said he “would not hesitate” to resign his whip to help “bring down the Government” to ensure Britain does not leave the European Union without an official agreement. Addressing colleagues in the House of Commons, the former frontbencher said: “Throughout this unhappy business of Brexit, what I’ve certainly tried to do is try to ensure that there is a process which avoids chaos.
“The only alternative, if we get to a point where the Prime Minister is intent on doing this, the only way of stopping that Prime Minister would be to bring down that Prime Minster’s Government.
“I simply have to say, here and now, I will not hesitate to do that if that is what is attempted.
“Even if it means my resigning the whip and leaving the party, I will not allow this country to be taken out of the EU on a no deal Brexit without the approval of this House and, in my view, going back to the country and asking that if that is what they want.”
Sky News political correspondent Lewis Goodall warned Mr Grieve’s announcement signalled Britons may be called to the polls in the Autumn if the British Government were to be brought down.
LISTEN HERE: Latest Brexit news from the Express.co.uk Final Countdown podcast
Writing on Twitter, Mr Goodall said: “What’s becoming clear from this debate is that Tory MPs like Dominic Grieve are psychologically preparing to vote against their own government in a motion of confidence.
“Get ready for an election in the autumn.”
The prediction was echoed by The Times columnist Iain Martin, who tweeted: “And so it begins… election coming.”
Mr Grieve made his announcement as MPs prepared to vote on a Labour Party-brought motion to block Britain from leaving the EU without a deal. The motion was later rejected by 309 MPs to 298.
Following the vote, The Sun deputy political editor wrote on Twitter: “Dominic Grieve appeared near to tears just then after the vote – says he believes the only way now to stop No Deal is the “nuclear option” of a confidence vote.”
Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash condemned the Labour motion to block a no deal Brexit, calling the move a “phantom motion for a phantom bill”.
Sir Bill also urged MPs to wait and see what the new Tory leader and PM comes up with before jumping the gun with such a vote.
A leaked memo has revealed Whitehall is not ready for a no deal Brexit should the new PM be unable to secure a deal with the EU.
The Financial Times reports the Government needs six to eight months of engagement with the pharmaceutical industry “to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to build stockpiles of medicines by October 31”.
The same note says it would take “at least 4-5 months” to improve trader readiness for new border checks that would be required.
The European Commission on Wednesday reiterated Britain crashing out of the EU remains “a possible, although undesirable, outcome”.
In an update, EU bosses said it believed its measures remained “fit for purpose”, and did not require any new measures ahead of the new departure date of October 31.