Commentator on Brexit: 'We Should Have Been Preparing for No Deal from Day One'

© REUTERS / Stefan WermuthA traffic sign is seen in front of European and Union flags in London, Britain
A traffic sign is seen in front of European and Union flags in London, Britain - Sputnik International
After the Brexit deal was rejected 432 to 202 by the UK Parliament last week, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would come up with an alternative plan. Sputnik discussed it with the Political Commentator Pete Durnell.

Sputnik: After announcing her Brexit Plan B, Theresa May has put forward plans to axe the Irish backstop from her Brexit deal with the EU. Is this the right direction the government should be taking on this issue?

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2019. - Sputnik International
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Pete Durnell: It's not the direction that I would like to see things go, because I would like to go back to just an actual free trade agreement, which is what I campaigned for what seems like many years ago now. If it will get the deal through then I could just about count against it but I strongly suspect that the EU is not going to rule out any of the changes to the text of the agreement and it would need to be legally binding for a proper change to be made. I think really they are batting their heads off a brick wall with that one.

Sputnik: Up to 40 government ministers have reportedly told Downing Street that they will resign if they are banned from voting against a no deal Brexit. Should a no deal be taken off the table?

Pete Durnell: I personally believe that we should have been preparing for no deal from day one after the referendum result. It's our trump card really and you can't get away from the fact that we are potentially playing a bit of a game of poker here with the EU, so to throw away your trump card is a bit of a stupid idea.

I understand the concerns about it but we should be preparing for it and it is basically our biggest weapon against them in a battle to get a good deal. The people who are largely saying that the no deal should be ditched, are the people who don't want to leave and they see if it that if we end up with a rubbish agreement that will give them the best chance to say ‘that's a rubbish agreement, let's just stay' so absolutely we shouldn't be taking a no deal off the table.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a media conference during an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. - Sputnik International
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Sputnik: As it stand, the Conservative Party HQ are fearful that a general election is on horizon despite Jeremy Corbyn being defeated on his vote of no confidence. Is a general election coming and what effect will it have on the Conservatives?

Pete Durnell: I personally don't really see it, it's a bit turkeys voting for Christmas. It has to be two thirds I believe, rather than the just the simple 51% who actually vote for no confidence so I don't think Tory MPs are going to vote to put their position in jeopardy.

If they did do that then I think it depends a lot on what going in their manifestos but potentially the Tories are going to take a terrible thrashing. I am very surprised that Labour are still so behind in the polls, they should be miles ahead by now really but I think even so if the Tories don't get their act together and produce a proper Brexit, they're going to get thrashing in the general election. I don't think it's going to happen but if it does, it's very bad news for the Tories.

The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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