Reports suggest senior officials in Downing Street are trying to place the blame for the potential consequences of a disastrous No Deal on senior Conservative former colleagues in Government, including the previous Chancellor Philip Hammond. Other reports claim Boris Johnson intends to ignore the result even if he loses a vote of no confidence in Parliament, with the intention of remaining as Prime Minister until he can force through No Deal.
Commenting, Guto Bebb MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“Boris Johnson knows that No Deal will be disastrous for jobs, for public services and for our security. No Deal will cause havoc at the ports, chaos in the supermarkets and despair in doctors’ surgeries.
“We know he knows this because he’s already trying to blame other people, even senior former colleagues for it. But while he’s desperate to avoid getting the blame, Johnson is also determined to force his vicious Brexit on us, whether we agree to it or not.
“Today he has let it be known that even if he lost the confidence of Parliament he would refuse to quit precisely so he can continue to impose No Deal on the country.
“At the same time his crew in Number 10 have attacked Philip Hammond as though the former Chancellor, who never hid his opposition to a destructive No Deal, was in some way going to be responsible for the chaos that will inevitably follow a crash out from Europe.
“It is hard to imagine a more cowardly way to behave than to whisper falsehoods in this way against a good Conservative who has always played the straightest of bats on Brexit. And it is hard to fathom that Britain, one of the greatest democracies in the world, could have a Prime Minister ready to inflict a No Deal he said in the last referendum would never happen on the people of our country without our permission.
“This Government is turning its back on 50 years of Conservative statecraft and pragmatic pro-business policies to pursue an ideological obsession with quitting the EU, whatever the cost, by an arbitrary deadline. It is doing huge damage to our reputation both as a reliable partner in international affairs but also as a place to do business.
“That is why more and more Conservatives, whether they ultimately think we should leave or stay in the EU, are recognising that we have to have a different approach and that trusting the people and their good sense is the final, and best, option for the country as a whole. Giving the people the final say on Brexit is both sound Conservative politics and the only way to end the crisis and the chaos.”