"Brexit is going to happen": Rory Stewart admits defeat for Remainers

16 December 2019, 19:50

Candidate for London Mayor, Rory Stewart, has admitted "Brexit is going to happen" after the Conservatives won a majority in the general election.

The former Conservative politicians quit the party in October and announced he would challenge Labour's Sadiq Khan for London Mayor as an independent.

He told LBC's Eddie Mair that Remainers' responsibility is to be "realistic and plan for the fact that Brexit is going to happen."

"We need to move the conservation on from the whether, to the how, to the what type of Brexit we want for London.

"The same would be true if you were in the Midlands - what kind of Brexit you want for the manufacturing industry or the car industry."

Eddie then challenged Mr Stewart on his new Brexit position, asking him how he plans to become Mayor of a city where most areas voted to Remain.

Rory Stewart is standing for the top job in City Hall
Rory Stewart is standing for the top job in City Hall. Picture: PA Images

Mr Stewart reaffirmed his opposition to a no-deal Brexit, said: "I believe firstly that many people in London like me were Remain voters, who have reluctantly now accepted, particularly after this election result, that Brexit is happening.

"Secondly, because I think people understand that the responsibility of the Mayor is to prepare the city for whatever comes. This is not a position as now where you're pontificating about foreign policy, it's about protecting the city.

"It doesn't matter whether it's a new deal, Brexit or a second referendum, you've got to prepare the city. And it's thinking through the details, not sticking your head in the sand, and pretending that this isn't going to happen on the 31st of January."