Hilary Benn struggled to answer how the Remain campaign “will get what it wants” with time to stop a no deal Brexit quickly running out. During an interview this morning on Sky News, host Sophy Ridge pointed out that Remain-backing MPs in Parliament were likely to fail to stop a no deal Brexit if Boris Johnson gains power. Earlier this week, MPs rejected a Labour motion paving the way for parliament to block a no deal departure from the EU.
The cross-party effort was defeated by 309 votes to 298, in a blow to hopes of preventing a Brexiteer prime minister from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal in October.
Quizzed on this failure, Mr Benn tried to reference earlier votes that Remainer MPs had won.
He said: “The last time we voted formally, it was a huge defeat for no deal Brexit.”
Ridge jumped in: “But, you lost the attempt this week. It’s not clear-cut that you can stop a no deal Brexit.”
You don’t have much time left
The Labour MP then tried to dismiss the defeated motion as “simply procedural”.
Pointing to the Brexit timetable, Ridge said: “Will you be able to do what you want to do?
“You don’t have much time left. Parliament breaks over summer, then you come back for a couple weeks, then party conference season starts, and then we leave on October 31st.
“If it’s a choice between not leaving at all and leaving without a deal, people who voted to leave would choose to leave without a deal.”
Mr Benn tried to deflect this point by claiming a no deal Brexit would have no mandate, before hitting out at the prospect of Boris Johnson in office.
He said: “I will try to stop Boris. It would be completely irresponsible for any Prime Minister to do that. It would be economic vandalism
“The House of Commons does not support a no deal Brexit and there is no mandate for a no deal Brexit.”
This comes amid claims by senior Tories that Boris Johnson’s hardline Brexit approach could spark a general election campaign in the autumn.
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