Liam Fox: MPs feel 'honour-bound' to stick to their initial Brexit decision

Liam Fox: MPs feel “honour-bound” to stick to their initial Brexit decision

Anti-Brexit protesters outside of Houses of Parliament.

Monday, January 14, 2019

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said that MPs feel “honour-bound” to stick to their “initial decision” on Brexit, despite the “terrible backlash” some MPs will face if there is no Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face a meaningful vote on her Brexit proposals on Tuesday.

Hosting her talkRADIO show, Julia Hartley-Brewer asked: “What sort of scale of defeat are you expecting? Let’s not go to the pretence that this deal is going to go through.

“What sort of defeat would make it possible that the Prime Minister can survive?”

Mr Fox said he was not “privy to the numbers the whip’s office has” but that MPs felt “honour-bound” to stick to their original viewpoints on Brexit.

“That is impossible to answer, nor am I privy to the numbers the whip’s office has at the moment,” he said.

“But, I think a lot of MPs on the Conservative side took up position very quickly after this agreement, maybe before they had a lot of time to digest it.

“I think they feel honour-bound to stick to by their initial decision they made. Whether they would do that in a subsequent vote remains to be seen.

“A lot of members from the Labour party who don’t want to leave without a deal and would face a terrible backlash from voters, particularly in the north of England were there to be no Brexit.”

 

'Caraclysmic for the British economy'

Pro-Brexit protesters outside of Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. 

Mr Fox has said it is “essential” for the “political reputation of Parliament” to deliver Brexit.

“Very often the House of Commons goes through the motions and then comes back and has a good think about it.

“I hope we can do that because it is essential on the political reputation of Parliament that we deliver on Brexit. I think we need to do in as smoother way as possible.

“I don’t fear no deal and I think we can certainly survive no deal. I don’t take the view that it would be cataclysmic for the British economy but it will be problematic for the economy and some particular sectors particularly farming.

“But I think we need to stop the hyperboles on both sides, we seem to have gone from irrational pessimism on one side, to irrational optimism on another.”