Dominic Grieve: If Theresa May Has No Deal, Parliament Has To Prepare To Extend Brexit
25 February 2019, 10:05
Parliament needs to allow for an extension of Article 50 if Theresa May can't secure a deal soon, says Dominic Grieve.
The former attorney general and Tory MP told Nick Ferrari that Parliament needs to "enact legislation this week" in order to extend Article 50.
"If the Prime Minister hasn't got a deal to bring to Parliament then I think the House of Commons has got to take the necessary steps to be able to mandate an extension of Article 50," he said.
But when asked how long an extension would be, he said that there was "no point" asking for a specific duration "because it has to be agreed with the European Union".
His comments come after the Prime Minister ruled out having a second vote on her Brexit deal this week, but insisting one will be held before March 12th.
Theresa May claimed that progress was being made in talks with the European Union but admitted that more time was needed for them to be 'locked in'.
But three Cabinet Ministers said that they would vote against the government in Parliament if the prospects of a no-deal Brexit grew closer.
Dominic Grieve said: "We can't afford to crash out of the EU without a deal, I know some of my other colleagues seem to think that's an acceptable solution if we can't agree a deal, but my view is that the consequences would be so damaging that we can't afford to let that happen."
The Tory added that a second referendum between remaining in the European Union and Theresa May's withdrawal agreement.
"If the country were to vote to leave the EU on the Prime Minister's deal in a further referendum then that could be implemented immediately," he said.
"The problem that we had was that the 2016 referendum was an abstract question and the one thing we mustn't do is ask an abstract question again.
"If you ask a question that requires further negotiation to deliver, you're not in a position to guarantee its delivery."