Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has said that if Brexit was stopped, it would be a “humiliation of historic proportions” for the UK.
The Prime Minister, and new Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay, have warned that no Brexit is a risk if Theresa May’s deal is voted down on December 11, but Mr Raab said stopping Brexit - either by way of voting against the deal or a second referendum - would be a “breach of public trust”.
“Staying in the EU would not go back to the relationship we had a few years ago,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. “The EU is constantly evolving - they said we’d lose the budget rebate, that’s £5.6 billion in addition to what we were paying before.
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“We’d lose all the opt-outs we had previously on justice and home affairs and Schengen, so border controls. We’d be possibly pressured into the Euro. Macron and Juncker are saying they want to build an EU army.
“When people talk about a second referendum and the comfort zone of being in the EU, you must understand and assess the costs of going back into the EU on top of the huge humiliation for this country, which I think would be of historic proportions.”
'I'm supporting the Prime Minister'
The draft Withdrawal Agreement. Image: Getty
On Tuesday evening, MPs voted that the government was in contempt of parliament for not publishing the legal advice surrounding the Brexit deal, which contains information about the arrangements of the Irish backstop.
The backstop has been a source of concern across the government, with Mr Raab himself telling Hartley-Brewer on Monday that he had seen the legal advice and “came to the conclusion” that it would keep the UK trapped in an indefinite arrangement.
Despite having made his plans to vote against Theresa May’s deal clear, Mr Raab vowed to support the Prime Minister.
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“What matters above all is the will and the resolve in Number 10, and I think if the deal is voted down, what we should be doing is going back to Brussels and making it clear that we cannot accept these terms,” he said.
“[We should] make our best final offer, but be clear that we’ll walk away if we don’t get reasonable terms, because this is the United Kingdom and we’re not going to be bullied.”
He added: “I’m supporting this prime minister, I want to see her make a success of it.”
“She can’t make a success of it. You know she’s already sold the country down the river,” Hartley-Brewer argued.
“Well, that’s your view,” said Mr Raab. “I think for many listeners it would be a distraction if there was all of the political shenanigans of a leadership contest right now.”
'Say no to Brussels'
During his time as Brexit secretary, Mr Raab said he had seen “contours of a deal I thought were there”, and said it was “late in the day demonstrating the resolve with the EU that we should have done, but there is still time.”
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“This Prime Minister, at her best, has shown that kind of steely resolve,” he added. “If the deal is voted down, it’ll be a very important moment for her to stand up and say no to Brussels.”