Remainer David Gauke explains why he backed Brexit under Theresa May

7 December 2019, 09:18

David Gauke voted for Theresa May's Brexit deal - but had the whip removed for not support Boris Johnson in his Brexit endeavours.

Andrew Castle asked: "Why'd you go ahead with Theresa May's Brexit agenda if you're against Brexit, as former justice secretary, you worked with Theresa May and you went along with that. So isn't that a contradiction, a hypocrisy?"

Gauke replied: "Well, I was one of those people who campaigned for Remain in 2016 but believed that if we could bring the country together and unite behind a form of Brexit that mitigated the worst effects of Brexit, then that's the best way of moving forward for the country.

"But I'm afraid that turned out to be impossible, largely because of the hardliners in my former party, who simply won't accept any form of Brexit other than one that is enormously disruptive and damaging to our economy.

Remainer David Gauke explains why he voted for Theresa May's Brexit
Remainer David Gauke explains why he voted for Theresa May's Brexit. Picture: PA

I am afraid we now face a very stark choice. There isn't a soft Brexit compromise option on the table, as far as I'm concerned, the stark choices either leaving in a way which I think will be very damaging or remaining within the European Union."

Gauke continued: "So I'm someone who is trying to find a way through this that I've, maybe was degree of reluctance, but nonetheless very firmly comes to the view that a second referendum with Remain on the table is the right way forward and I would campaign for Remain."