Political commentator and radio host Iain Dale had previously claimed he would rather remain in the European Union then back Theresa May’s Brexit deal. But speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions?, Mr Dale said the Brexiteer Tory MPs now face a key dilemma. The Eurosceptic said: “If you believe in Brexit, you have to believe that we should leave on March 29th as the Government has said repeatedly as Theresa May has repeatedly said all along.
“One of her famous red lines which she seems to be quite good at breaking. If we don’t leave on March 29th.
“There is a real chance now, and I would put it at 50-50, that we won’t leave at all. The prospects of that happening and the consequences for our democracy I can barely think of.
“I mean, they are going to be terrible if that happens. So, I reluctantly have come to the conclusions that if I was an MP now I would support her deal.
“But I would do it very reluctantly because I would have been driven to do it because of this Project Fear which Olly Robbins, her adviser, outlined in his barroom chat on February 12th in Brussels.
“What he said then is now coming true. He said ‘we will threaten them with a two-year extension period because then there could be another referendum and Brexit might not happen’.
“So, they will all whip into line in the end. And that’s probably, I suspect, what is going to happen. But what a way to run a Government.”
The comments come as Mrs May failed to get enough concessions from the EU on her backstop proposal in time for her second meaningful vote on the withdrawal agreement this week.
The Prime Minister lost a crucial vote on her deal on Tuesday night, with MPs voting by 391 to 242 against the deal.
This week MPs also voted to take no deal off the table under any circumstance and approved a motion setting out the option to have a short delay by agreeing to a Brexit deal by March 20 or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time.
Both the votes on a no deal Brexit and an Article 50 extension are not legally binding, which means that until the Government does not change the legislation, the UK is still leaving on March 29, with or without a deal.
Speaking after MPs voted to take a no deal Brexit off the table, Mrs May claimed she will be putting her Brexit deal to a third meaningful vote.
Mrs May warned if the deal – which has already been twice rejected by massive majorities – is not approved, a longer extension will be needed, requiring Britain to take part in the European Parliament elections in May.
Published at Fri, 15 Mar 2019 21:24:00 +0000