James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Delaying Brexit Would Be “Hugely Damaging To Democracy”, Says Brexit Secretary
13 February 2019, 13:16
A significant delay to Britain’s exit from the EU would be “hugely damaging to democracy”, the Brexit Secretary has told LBC.
Stephen Barclay was responding to reported comments made by the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator Olly Robbins.
It’s claimed he was overheard in a Brussels bar saying MPs could be forced to choose between a long extension to Article 50 or Theresa May’s deal.
He was quoted as saying: "The issue is whether Brussels is clear on the terms of extension. In the end, they will probably just give us an extension.
"Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March... Extension is possible but if they don't vote for the deal then the extension is a long one..."
After being grilled over the comments by Nick Ferrari on Wednesday morning, Mr Barclay told LBC: “I do not know what Olly did or did not say because I wasn’t there.
“It would be hugely damaging to our democracy if you had a delay.”
He added: “I think saying to your listeners three years after the country voted to leave that they should vote to elect MEPs, I think that would be seen with a fair degree of anger.”
Asked whether Mr Robbins should lose his job, the Brexit Secretary finished: “He has worked phenomenally hard on this deal.”