Clive Bull 1am - 4am
Sajid Javid Repeatedly Refuses To Rule Out Government Strike To Nick Ferrari
25 October 2019, 12:35
Sajid Javid responded to suggestions that the Government might 'strike' if Labour refuse to vote for a general election by repeatedly refusing to rule it out.
Sajid Javid told Nick Ferrari: "Well, look, what the Prime Minister has done is, first of all, we've tried everything possible to deliver Brexit by October 31st. You remember, Nick, a lot of people said we wouldn't even get a deal. We got that.
"We prepared for a No Deal outcome, just in case. Despite that, at every opportunity, Parliament, led by Jeremy Corbyn in this case, has voted for dither and delay. More delay, as he did at the weekend.
"Parliament has requested, not the government, a further extension. It's outrageous - a further extension to us leaving the EU. Although the EU hasn't responded formally yet, it's very likely that they will agree to Parliament's request of a further three month delay.
"Not what we want to see but it's likely it will happen and so what we've said is let's still focus on Brexit and get it done.
"Now, Corbyn has asked for an extra couple of weeks. Have your couple of weeks but, in exchange, you must agree to a general election.
He continued: "This is a zombie parliament. It is completely paralysed. It is not getting on with business and the interests of the British people. We have to put that to an end and let the British people decide who should govern."
Later on in the conversation, Javid went on to say: "If you have a general election on the 12th December, that means Parliament needs to be dissolved on 6th November.
It gives plenty of time to get this deal done. I'm afraid if we don't have that kind of deadline with Jeremy Corbyn, he will further dither and delay and we cannot take that as a country and that is why we need this.
He continued: "We need a general election because we don't have a majority in parliament. You've got Corbyn trying to block things whenever he can.
The country doesn't deserve that. It does deserve a government that has a majority in parliament and that means a general election."
Ferrari asked if many colleagues are listening to the public?
He said that many politicians have "switched off" and are in a "little bubble". He explained that on the doorstep, people "want to get Brexit done".
Ferrari asked whose decision it was to no longer hold the budget on 6th November.
He said it was "our decision" - and that he and the Prime Minister made the decision together. He explained that "the budget was always based on getting a deal done by the 31st."
He said: "The Prime Minister, I and the whole cabinet in fact, yesterday, agreed unanimously that this is the way forward."
Javid continued: "I was always ready to stop the budget if that meant we can get Brexit done and we can have this general election."
He then told Nick Ferrari: "Having a budget anytime is important, but what is far more important is getting Brexit done and putting an end to the zombie parliament."
Javid then said: "We're going to bring a vote forward for general election on Monday. If Labour does not support that vote, then we will continue to ask for a general election and bring the vote again and bring a vote again.
"As for what happens in power with other business, other than asking for a general election, we'll have to wait and see what that business is and we'll have to wait to see what's the best way to handle that.
But the most important thing is that we need this general election. So let's get Brexit done, we'll give the extra couple of weeks and let's have this general election and put an end to this zombie parliament."
Nick Ferrari then asked if that means they will or won't be going to strike.
Javid replied: "Let's wait and see."
Nick then pressed him on this again, saying: "So you might go on a strike? You're not ruling it out?"
Javid then said: "Let's see what happens on Monday. When you talk about a strike, those are your words - not mine."
Nick then said: "What would you want to call it then? Should we call it a 'go slow'?"