British Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has advised Members of Parliament (MPs) against voting down Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the European Union (EU), warning that doing so makes a no-deal exit from the bloc “far more likely.”
“We are preparing for all scenarios,” the Cabinet minister wrote in an article for the Daily Express newspaper on Thursday. “As 2019 begins, we will accelerate our no deal planning further.”
“There is obviously division in Parliament over the PM’s Brexit deal. It’s not a perfect deal. But it’s the only workable deal that delivers on the democratic choice of the British people. And it’s the best way to avoid no deal,” he wrote of May’s deal.
Faced with severe backlash over a deal that she struck with the EU in November, May delayed the original vote in the Commons in early December to buy herself some time.
She has warned that if the parliament rejects the deal in the vote, which is now scheduled for January 14, London will be forced to leave the EU on March 29 in a disorderly manner.
“As we return to Parliament, MPs must consider the alternative,” Barclay wrote. “No deal will be far more likely if MPs reject the PM’s Brexit deal later this month.
The EU Exit secretary said the government was undertaking new measures to better prepare for a possible no-deal divorce, including, plans by the Department of Transport to make sure flight in and out of Britain were not going to be disrupted.
The government was also updating the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s guidance on guaranteeing medical standards.
He also mentioned a public information campaign that the government was going to be launched on next week on radio and social media “to raise awareness about the need to be ready for a no -deal Brexit.”
“People did not vote for the disruption and uncertainty of no deal,” he added, referring to the 2016 EU referendum where over half of Britons opted for Brexit.
Criticism of May’s deal mostly concerns the so-called “backstop” clause, which some say undermines the UK’s sovereignty as it effectively separates Northern Ireland from the mainland Britain.
The EU insists it should be able to include Northern Ireland in its customs union and move the border to the Irish Sea until a mechanism is found for bilateral trade.
A British government document on legal aspects of the withdrawal agreement has showed that the backstop could trap Britain in a customs union with the EU indefinitely.
Source: Press TV