Mark Harper: 'No chance of EU deal without general election'

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mark Harper has said he is certain the current Parliament is unable to resolve the issue of Brexit, and an election would offer a “clear choice” to voters.

The Conservative MP told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer “there’s no prospect of the European Union giving us a deal without us going back to the public”.

“The choice is going to be for the public - do they vote Conservative, Boris Johnson continues as Prime Minister, he goes to the European Council in October and gets a new deal,” he said.

“Or does the country choose to have Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister when given that Labour’s said it’s going to campaign for remain it’s fairly clear we’ll never leave the European Union.”

Mr Harper has defended the Prime Minister’s decision to expel 21 MPs from the party who voted against the government on Tuesday.

He said “everyone knew that was the position” and by defying the Prime Minister the rebel MPs have “effectively cut the legs from his negotiating position”.

The former Chief Whip to David Cameron said he expected the Prime Minister would offer the same warning should he return from the EU with a new deal.

“If he comes back with a deal he’s also going to say to Conservative MPs ‘this is a confidence matter, I expect you to vote for this deal and if you don’t vote for it I will be as firm with you as I have been with those who’ve weakened my negotiating position’,” he said.

“I think as long as it’s fair and you’re saying to both views ‘this is so central to the government’s view it’s absolutely critical you have to support us’ and that’s done in an even-handed way then I think that is a perfectly reasonable way for the Prime Minister to behave.”

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