Chuka Umunna has warned MPs against throwing “all their eggs” into an attempt to extend Article 50, ahead of the return of Parliament on Tuesday.
The Liberal Democrat MP told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer there is a risk the extension bid could fail even if it passed the Commons.
“We believe that MP colleagues will be making a grave mistake if they throw all their eggs into the basket of legislating to extend Article 50. We’re optimistic that it can be successful, but we can’t be utterly sure that it will work,” he said.
“The government may find a way around it. Don’t forget these Vote Leave people, the people now running the government have been prepared to lie, cheat, break the rules to win at any cost so we can’t presume this law will operate to stop us crashing out without a deal.”
He added there was no guarantee the EU Council would grant an extension.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has met with Jeremy Corbyn to discuss options for the return of Parliament.
The Labour leader has pushed for a no-confidence vote however there remains a major stumbling block over who would lead a caretaker government should it succeed.
Mr Umunna said a no-confidence vote is still possible, but there must first be agreement over the next leader.
“It has proved to be the issue because the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is insisting that he should be the leader of a caretaker emergency government in spite of the fact that we know that he simply doesn’t have the numbers to make that happen,” he said.
“What may happen is there’s a vote of no confidence triggered, there isn’t an alternative government put in place and we get a general election and Parliament just needs to ensure in those circumstances that Brexit does not happen before the general election.”