Esther McVey Tells May To Use Rejected Deal As A Strength Against EU

14 January 2019, 07:39 | Updated: 14 January 2019, 13:46

The former work and pensions secretary says the Prime Minister needs to use a lost vote as a "position of strength" to demand a better deal from the European Union.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, the Tory MP said that Theresa May needs to tell the EU that the withdrawal agreement is "not good enough".

"I just want to make sure the vote of the people in the referendum is carried through," she said.

But when she was asked about suggestions Brexit could be cancelled if the Prime Minister's deal is rejected in Parliament, she said: "I've heard lots of explanations to try and get us to vote for this bad deal - a deal that was unanimously rejected before Christmas.

"I've heard if you don't vote for this you won't get Brexit or no deal. No, you don't vote for this because it is a bad deal and the country can get a much better deal.

"What the Prime Minister needs to do is go back to the EU and exert as much pressure on them to get a better deal as she is exerting on her own MPs to vote on a bad deal."

Esther McVey
Esther McVey. Picture: LBC

The former work and pensions secretary also set out two key stumbling blocks, calling on the UK and EU to get rid of the backstop and to not pay money to the bloc unless there is guarantee of a free trade deal.

She said: "The Prime Minister has to say I've lost my vote on Tuesday.

"use it as a position of strength to say to the EU it's not good enough, there's a better deal on the table, and remember Tusk has already said you can go for a 'Canada plus' but we just need to start negotiations on that now."

MPs are expected to reject the Prime Minister's Brexit plan when it is put to a vote in Parliament on Tuesday, but Theresa May has warned them that failing to deliver on Brexit would be a "catastrophic and unforgivable" breach of trust in the UK's democracy.

In the event her exit deal is voted down, some Brexiters have argued for the UK to leave without a deal, but other MPs also object to the no deal Brexit - calling for either Article 50 to be extended or revoked, or a second referendum to allow the general public to decide the next move.