UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has floated the prospect of a no Brexit if Theresa May's current deal is voted down in the parliament next week.
In an interview with BBC's flagship radio show, the ‘Today programme,' on 11 January, Hunt said, "If this deal is rejected, ultimately what we may end up with is not a different type of Brexit but Brexit paralysis, and Brexit paralysis ultimately could lead to no Brexit."
He then argued, that "if we were as a political class not to deliver Brexit that would be a fundamental breach of trust between the people and the politicians and I think that is something that we would regret for many generations to come."
If Parliament refuses to allow us to exit the EU as is suggested by Jeremy Hunt then it becomes a clear constitutional crisis. Parliament will be seen to be in open rebellion AGAINST the wishes of the people.
— David Vance (@DVATW) 11 January 2019
Hunt's concerns are not without precedent: there has been a rising tide of reports documenting angry confrontations between members of the public and MPs over the government's failure to deliver on the Brexit referendum result.
Jeremy Hunt: “If this deal is rejected it could lead to Brexit paralysis which could lead to no Brexit.” #r4today— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) 11 January 2019
— Alexa Brown (@alexabrown) 11 January 2019
Theresa May's Brexit deal — which has been branded a failure from all political angles — is expected to be overwhelmingly rejected when MPs give their verdict next week, on 15 January. A BBC projection reportedly showed that the deal could be defeated by 228 votes, which would mark the heaviest parliamentary defeat in modern history.
Hunt's comments could be viewed as politically daring, considering this his boss, PM May, continues to assert that Britain will be departing from the EU on the designated date of March 29 2019.
Jeremy Hunt & the government are rolling the dice once again. They now know a no-deal won’t happen, so they are now blackmailing MP’s saying it’s vote fir this #Brexit deal or face no Brexit at all.— Aaron (@aaron1867) 11 January 2019
Looks like no Brexit at all then.
He also acknowledges that many listeners would be very happy with that option. 👍— Mike Galsworthy (@mikegalsworthy) 11 January 2019
…before making weak arguments as to why Brexit must be delivered regardless. He’s really floundering.
The foreign secretary's comments come as it has been revealed that Theresa May has been fuming behind closed doors over members of her own senior cabinet allegedly plotting to undermine her, according to The Daily Mail.
The Mail reports that it has obtained a leaked secret No 10 memo which exposes the degree of intragovernmental warfare over the future of Miss May's leadership, and who may replace her as Prime Minister if her deal is gunned down next week.
According to the media outlet, the memo, which was written in an email by No 10 director of communications Robbie Gibb, indirectly attacks three senior Conservative government ministers in particular: Sajid Javid, Amber Rudd and Liz Truss. All three are seen as ambitious figures who are likely to compete with May for the leadership if her deal is struck down next week.
The email says that Miss May has grown "frustrated" with the three for publicly announcing their own initiatives on issues such as social welfare and asylum policy at the same time as May's announcement last week that she intends to pump £20 billion into Britain's struggling National Health Service (NHS).
In the email, Mr Gibb reportedly indirectly accuses Javid, Rudd and Truss of trying to upstage May, saying that No 10 was hoping to get widespread media coverage on May's plans to improve the NHS, which were announced last week, but instead found itself frustrated as coverage was "diverted elsewhere" because of the other three officials making their own announcements.
"Because of briefings and articles by ministers in Sunday papers, attention was diverted elsewhere," Gibb reportedly wrote.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd's office previously briefed a Sunday newspaper on new changes to the Universal Credit welfare system, While Mr Javid's aides are said to have briefed a newspaper on his intention to implement stricter rules on asylum claims.