Tory MP: General Election Can Not Be The Solution To Brexit Deadlock

19 January 2019, 08:43 | Updated: 19 January 2019, 09:36

Conservative MP Stephen Hammond believes Article 50 will need to be extended to allow the Prime Minister time to resolve the Brexit deadlock after a turbulent week for British politics.

The health minister said that he didn't think a general election would "change the maths" in Parliament and therefore would not be a suitable solution to the Brexit deadlock, but that solutions that gain cross-party support would inevitably mean that "one or two people will be very cross".

Stephen Hammond told Andrew Castle that "what is most likely now, unless people are prepared to put away their preconceived ideas, I'm afraid we're heading to an extension of Article 50".

When Andrew asked whether an extension is a "denial of Brexit", Mr Hammond said: "No, a denial of Brexit would be revoking Article 50 and never intending for Brexit to happen."

- Brexit Timeline: Key Dates As The UK Prepares To Leave The EU

- Article 50: What Is It And What Does It Mean?

Stephen Hammond believes a general election will not resolve the Brexit deadlock
Stephen Hammond believes a general election will not resolve the Brexit deadlock. Picture: LCB

"I think the most likely thing if Mrs May goes back to European colleagues this week is not some movement on the backstop, because they've already given a letter of confidence and if that's not good enough for the House of Commons I'm not sure the Europeans are going to move much further," Mr Hammond said.

"There are some clear indications that although they had been saying they wouldn't extend Article 50 unless we had a different plan, I think they are now as worried as we are that crashing out will be bad for the economies of the country and Europe."

His comments come after a turbulent week in British politics, as Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected in a historic vote and her government brought into doubt in a no-confidence vote called by the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.

But Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also been vocal about extending Article 50, saying that it would allow time for the UK to hold a second referendum.

Meanwhile father of the house Ken Clarke said that Article 50 should be revoked to allow the Prime Minister to further conversations with Europe.