Britain’s trade minister Liam Fox has said that if the UK government rejects the European Union withdrawal deal next month, there is a 50-50 chance that Brexit may be stopped.
“If we were not to vote for that, I’m not sure I would give it (Brexit) much more than 50-50,” Fox told the Sunday Times newspaper.
The cut off date for setting of Brexit and the UK formally leaving the EU is 29 March 2019 and the UK parliament is set to vote on a proposed Brexit deal presented by Prime Minister Theresa May in the week starting 14 January. Earlier this month, the vote was called off by May because of concerns over the proposal being rejected “by a significant margin.”
The politicians voting for May’s deal is the only way that can provide 1q00 per cent assurance that Britain will leave the EU, said Fox who is known as one of the most senior pro-Brexit politicians in the UK cabinet.
Voting against May’s proposed Brexit deal would “shatter the bond of trust between the electorate and parliament, ” he added.
He would prefer a deal that falls short than risk “no Brexit”m said the international trade minister.
In n a speech in Bristol last month, Fox has urged other MPs to back May’s withdrawal agreement.
“In politics we cannot always have the luxury of doing what we want for ourselves, but we have an abiding duty to do what is right for our country,” he had said during that speech.
On the other hand, the head of the EU’s executive body said that the EU is not attempting to coax and keep the UK within the block and the it wants to begin negotiations on the future ties after the U.K. parliament approves Brexit. This is because the block also wants ot focus on retaining its own unity before the May elections.
“It is being insinuated that our aim is to keep the United Kingdom in the EU by all possible means. That is not our intention. All we want is clarity about our future relations. And we respect the result of the referendum,” said Jean-Claude, head of the European Commission in an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
Soon after the British Parliament approves the Brexit deal, the EU is all ready to begin negotiations for the new deal, said Juncker. A vote is now due in the week starting Jan. 14.
Britain should get its act together, he also said.
“And then tell us what it is you want,” he said.
“I am working on the assumption that it will leave, because that is what the people of the United Kingdom have decided,” he added, refusing to be drawn into whether Britain would hold a second Brexit vote. “That is for the British to decide.”
(Adapted from EuroNews.com & VOANews.com)